The education secretary Gavin Williamson will today update MPs on changes to the increasingly unpopular school “bubble” system, which can lead to high numbers of pupils being sent home if one child tests positive for Covid.
Mr Williamson is expected to announce in the Commons that the system will be replaced with a system of enhanced testing.
Health secretary Sajid Javid told MPs yesterday that the plan was to remove bubbles and the need for schools to carry out routine contact tracing for Covid cases on 19 July. This is just days from the end of term for most English state schools. Scottish schools are already on holiday.
The move will come as England heads towards step four of its roadmap out of lockdown on 19 July, which will see social distancing come to an end as well as face mask laws.
Speaking about the possibility of vaccinating school children yesterday, the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation was currently balancing the “relative risks to the individual from vaccination versus the relative benefits.”
The committee’s findings, he said, were not yet ready to share.