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The NHS Test and Trace programme needs to be scaled up in order to reopen schools safely, researchers have said.
A new modelling study has implied that reopening schools in September must be combined with a high-coverage test-trace-isolate strategy to avoid a second wave of Covid-19 later this year.
The study comes as Australian research found there were “low” levels of coronavirus transmission in schools and nurseries.
The modelling study – which simulates various scenarios – examined the possible implications of schools reopening in the UK coupled with broader reopening of society, such as more parents returning to the workplace and increased socialising within the community.
The authors found that “with increased levels of testing… and effective contact tracing and isolation, an epidemic rebound might be prevented”.
But in a worst-case scenario, a second wave could be 2.3 times higher than the first, according to the study published in The Lancet Child And Adolescent Health.
The modelling comes after suggestions that pubs may need to be shut, or social freedoms curbed, in order to allow schools to reopen while keeping the spread of Covid-19 down.
Read more: Coronavirus Second Wave Fear Unless NHS Test And Trace Expanded – (‘We will threaten you with the “second wave” we have planned from the start so you will submit to our fascistic surveillance’)