2 Metre Social Distancing Would Allow Just 1 Day of Primary School for Kids

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Primary school students may only return to school one day a week if the 2 metre social distancing rules are retained. It would also mean students in secondary could only attend school twice a week.

If it was reduced to one metre primary school students could go to class 50% of the time while some secondary schools could return almost at a full-time basis.

Two-metre social distancing rule may be reduced to one metre when schools return in September.

Education Minister, Joe McHugh, says the figures show the need for all children to return to the classroom full-time, which may come at the expense of social distancing:

He said that it was his preference to have a full reopening of all schools with a return of all students to their normal education routine.

“My clear intention and the goal of the Government and the entire education sector is to have a full reopening of all schools for all children at the end of August and into September.

“A full reopening of schools and the return of all students to their normal education routine is in the best interests of everyone.”

Minister McHugh said it was his clear personal preference that all children return to school on a full-time basis from late August if possible.

“If we just bring back 20 or 50 per cent we could potentially do more damage due to the educational neglect and regression as a consequence of that.

“It is not just a personal ambition. We have looked at the scenario of blended learning and home schooling and the [present difficulties].”

He pointed to recent scientific evidence which showed that children under 13 did not need to wear face masks and how younger people in general were less affected by the virus.

He said his department would also look at situations in other countries such as Belgium, Denmark and France where there had been full returns to school.

The rule change, it was stressed, would be confined to education and would not be extended to any other section of society.

The decision will be based on evidential research conducted by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.