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Schools reopening in England should not be delayed until March and kids could go back after half-term, scientists say

SCHOOLS reopening in England should not be delayed until March, according to scientists.

Top professors believe children should be back in the classroom after half-term, and other restrictions should be lifted soon after.

Top professors believe children should be back in the classroom after half-term

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Top professors believe children should be back in the classroom after half-termCredit: Alamy

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to set out his road map out of lockdown around February 22, with schools opening their doors on March 8.

But University of East Anglia professor of medicine Paul Hunter has said schools should reopen before then.

He said: “I think there could well be a case for opening schools sooner — I particularly think schools for children under 11 years of age, where the evidence that they contribute to the spread of the epidemic in the wider population is a lot lower.”

‘GET THEM BACK AFTER HALF TERM’

Meanwhile Professor Robert Dingwall, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) committee, told The Telegraph that, reopening schools is now “a political calculation more than a scientific one”.

He said that around 90 per cent of those most at risk of dying will have been protected by half-term.

The UK vaccinated another 469,016 people yesterday, meaning nearly 10.5 million Brits have now been immunised against the bug.

Deaths have also dropped by a quarter with 915 recorded yesterday and 20,634 daily infections.

Prof Dingwall told The Telegraph: “Many people looking at this think it’s a tolerable risk to get the kids back as the Scots are doing. 

“We could start getting primary school children back after half term, and there really isn’t a case for keeping all kids off until March 8.

“The Scottish advisers tend to be more conservative than the English ones, so it’s very hard to resist the conclusion that the English are being a little over-cautious this time. 

“If you have the first three years of primary coming back immediately after half term that is not now going to create an explosive third wave.”

Open-air contact will be prioritised in Boris Johnson’s planned re-opening of England.

According to The Times, outdoor activity will be permitted first before the retail and hospitality sectors are reopened.

Sports like tennis and golf will be allowed along with outdoor socialising.

Outdoor Markets and al-fresco dining is likely to open up before high street shops and indoor restaurants.

And the Prime Minister has ordered that restrictions on alcoholic drinks be simplified, with the removal of the substantial meal rule.

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