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Local lockdowns: Can schools stay open? Latest guidance

Dr Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths, from UCL, said: “With UK schools reopening fully in September, prevention of a second wave will require a major scale-up of testing to test 75 percent of symptomatic infections – combined with tracing of 68 percent of their contacts, and isolation of symptomatic and diagnosed cases.”

Currently, around 50 percent of contacts are being traced by England’s test and trace system.

NHS Improvement Chair Baroness Dido Harding has rebuffed claims that the system is not working, saying: “I absolutely don’t accept that this is failure, it’s the opposite.”

The UK Government’s chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, has said “we are near the limit” of what we can do without causing a resurgence.

Professor Neil Ferguson, the epidemiologist whose modelling helped shape Britain’s coronavirus lockdown strategy, has predicted the R rate will return to above one if secondary schools are allowed to return as soon as September.



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