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Reopening all schools in the UK would bring a “very real risk” of a second deadly peak of coronavirus, Dominic Raab has warned.
The Foreign Secretary said there would be a phased plan to bring all students back to schools, avoiding a spike in the ‘R’ transmission rate of the virus that could overwhelm the NHS.
Speaking at the daily Downing Street briefing, Mr Raab said the Government is still consulting its scientific advisors on how to open schools again, but they are unlikely to return to full capacity immediately.
“The crucial bit for us is the five tests and the risk of a second spike in relation to any new changes that we would make and that must of course included schools, “he said.
“At least to date the evidence has been that we wouldn’t be able to open up all schools without a very real risk that the R rate – the transmission rate – would rise at such a level that we would risk a second spike. “
There were 56, (deaths involving Covid) in England and Wales up to April .
In today’s briefing, Mr Raab pointed to new National Cyber Security Center guidelines for fighting cyber criminals and hostile foreign states during the crisis.
Some criminals have been exploiting Covid – for their own “nefarious ends”, he said.
Follow the latest updates below.(7:) (PM)Data: The latest figures on care home deaths
At this afternoon’s press conference, Prof Angela McLean said the number of coronavirus deaths in care homes was a “real issue” for the Government.
Our data team has crunched the numbers and produced this chart, which shows the proportion of deaths in care homes since the start of the crisis, compared to hospitals.(7: (PM) UK can deal with coronavirus better outside EU, says Gove
Extending the post-Brexit negotiations and remaining under European Union rules could hinder the UK’s efforts to deal with coronavirus, Michael Gove has warned.
The UK and Brussels are currently negotiating a fresh trade agreement via video-telephone conferencing, due to restrictions on movement imposed on both sides of the Channel to stem the spread of Covid – . Despite officials in both London and the Belgian capital admitting that the two rounds of formal talks that have taken place so far have seen little progress, Downing Street has consistently refused to extend the deadline beyond December.
Explaining the Government’s rationale for that decision, Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, told peers that increasing the time available for the talks could hurt the UK’s post-coronavirus recovery, while also stinging the country in the pocket.
The UK is currently in a transition period with the EU, meaning that, while it is no longer a member of the bloc after exiting on January , it continues to follow Brussels-set rules until the end of the year.
At this afternoon’s Downing Street briefing, Dominic Raab said an extension would cause more uncertainty than pressing forward.