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England to open Secondary Schools from 8th of March: What does this mean?

From the second Monday of March, schools in the UK will be open for students. After almost a year of online schooling, schools in the UK are gearing for the offline module. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all schools in England will open from 8th March 2021. Over the course of the next few months, the United Kingdom will slowly lift the COVID-19 lockdown in order to ease into normal life.

COVID-19 In the UK

The United Kingdom is one of the worst-hit countries by the COVID-19 pandemic. With innumerable deaths and an increasing number of cases, the UK is facing a special kind of challenge when it comes to COVID. Furthermore, the economic condition is the worst the country has seen in over 300 years.

The reopening of Schools

The reopening of schools is the first step in a “four-step” plan. Students from schools and colleges will all be required to go back to school. Though this is not a simple process. there will be a few steps that everyone will have to keep in notice.

  1. The students will have to go for bi-weekly tests. This will at first be done at the school site, followed by home tests in the upcoming weeks.
  2. It will not just be the students who will be regularly tested. Teachers, staff members, and other workers on the premises of the schools will also be tested regularly.
  3. Face masks are compulsory. Nobody can enter the school premises without face masks. Not only are they to be worn outside, but also within classrooms and other indoor places. Unless the school is able to figure out a way of 2m social distancing, this rule will apply to all age groups.
  4. This is not just restricted to secondary students Primary school students as well as primary staff are also requested to continue to wear masks. It would be advised to maintain social distancing between staff members and visiting adults, but in cases, it is not possible everyone is requested to wear masks.

This will certainly not be an easy time for anyone. The Education Minister, Gavin Williamson, is aiming to raise funds for the schools. His current objective is to raise £6,000 for primary schools and £22,000 for secondary school. This fundraising is being hosted keeping in mind the fact that teachers and staff members will have to spend extra hours in school. There will be students who might fall short on equipment and other necessities. Thus, the Minister wants to ensure that any such cost is covered.

UK’s Lockdown easing plan

Opening the schools is just one step in the grand plan. From March 8th onwards, two people will be allowed to go out together. Be it parks, halls, lunch, or dinners. Twenty days after this is done, on March 29th, the country will further ease the lockdown. Six people or two households will be allowed to go out together. This will include public as well as private gatherings by the masses. Moreover, sports facilities, that had long been shut in the country, will open their doors as well.

All of this will be done keeping in mind the COVID vaccine program. Since there are no certain signs of the virus disappearing, it is imperative that people take the vaccine. Furthermore, vaccines seem to work with different variants of the virus, so people are requested to take them as soon as possible. As long as everybody gets the vaccine and the cases remain under control, the lockdown restrictions can soon be expected to ease.

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