Johnson’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, said that England has “probably reached the limits” of how open it can be, given the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
However, this is not how the government sees it. According to numerous UK government sources who were not permitted to speak about policy yet to be announced, here’s where Downing Street is currently:
One government minister told CNN: “There is huge harm caused by lockdown itself and that needs to be set against the obvious huge harm caused by the virus. When you set one against the other and realize how low transmissions are among schoolchildren — how do you justifiably come down on the side of economic catastrophe over schools?” Public health experts have urged governments to treat claims that transmission is low in schools with caution, as it varies between age groups.
Second, contrary to the idea that there is a straight choice to be made, it’s not a “zero-sum game,” one government adviser told CNN. “It’s not the case of if pubs and bars are open X will happen and if you open schools Y will happen. If everyone is compliant with the rules of social distancing, cleaning their hands, you can basically have both at once.”
Third, the two things are not unrelated. “Schools are going back regardless, mostly because…
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