For me, the only thing the Government should really be discussing this week is schools.
We need to get children back to face to face learning, and the obviously focus should be on primary schools. Primaries don’t have zero risk, but I think we can cautiously open them on March 8.
We need to open schools slowly, because there is the danger of resurgence. If the Government want an extra layer of staggering they might look at starting with key stage 1 and then key stage 2.
Secondary schools could then come back after Easter, although they might want key secondary schools years back before then.
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For me it’s foolish to consider opening other things like retail or hospitality while our children have been out of school for so long, because if we do we run the risk of infections rising and schools being closed again.
I’m also wary about putting specific dates on when rules might be relaxed, especially when often they need to be pushed back. It’s not good for adherence or for mental health and wellbeing.
I would prefer them to say, this is where we need to be as far as the epidemic is concerned for us to relax, and hopefully that will incentivise people to obey the rules because they want to get back to normal sooner.
I would be more focused on the order things should be happening rather than setting dates.
I think it’s feasible that we could have a domestic holiday season in the summer, and I really hope so.
But I’m very much more sceptical about the international situation.
I’m thinking very much that it’s going to be 2022 by the time things are back to normal in terms of international travel.
Even if we get towards herd immunity in the UK through vaccination, if other countries don’t then we have a problem.
Hopefully by Christmas we’ll have worked out way out of this, especially if the optimistic predictions about the vaccine are true and we get good uptake among the younger age groups.
But we won’t eradicate Covid-19. The virus is going to be here endemically for a really long time to come, and we are going to have to learn to live with it and deal with it.