Reopening schools throughout EU has not triggered covid-19 spike
Schools have been reopened in 22 countries of the European Union but this has not currently resulted in a significant second spike in the number of coronavirus cases.
Seventeen countries have reopened nurseries, primary schools and senior years of secondary schools. Others have tried to conduct examinations in various non-traditional ways.
The French education minister has stated that some 70 schools have had to be closed after new covid-19 cases were detected in these schools. “Our children must not be collateral victims of health measures,” Jean-Michel Blanquer said. France’s return to normality has been gradual and parents have been permitted to keep children at home if they are concerned that returning to school would be premature.
Particular concerns have been raised about children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are less likely to follow online curricula and are less likely to benefit from parental support.
Britain, where the lockdown is gradually being lifted, has seen a fierce battle between trade unions and the government over whether to reopen schools at the start of June. While initially backing the unions, the British Medical Association has now partially withdrawn its support. Britain is the worst hit country in Europe with over 35,000 deaths.
The developments come as other lockdown measures are lifted throughout Europe. Italy, the second worst-hit country in Europe, has seen cafes and restaurants reopened.