A World Health Organisation Special Envoy on COVID-19 has said it's now time to think about re-opening schools here.
Professor David Nabarro said the next phase of our response to the virus will be about physical distancing, face guards and TTI (Testing, Tracing and Isolation).
He said he remains hopeful that a vaccine can be found - but in the meantime, “getting used to living with the virus as a constant threat is going to be the new normal.”
He said keeping children home from school for too long can have long-term effects on their development.
“You have to balance the risk.
"Children staying at home, missing school – that is going to have a long-term impact on their future ability to earn and to be strong in society.
“At the same time, we do believe that children, although they can get the virus, are not anything like as important at spreading the virus as some other members of the population – so we have got to give it a try.”
On the Government’s plan to reopen schools in September, Mr Nabarro said that given the country’s progress against the virus, he is "sure that there are going to be people in Government starting to think very, very seriously that schools could be reopened very soon."
He added that any move to bring some classes back would have to be done "very carefully because so much depends on whether the teachers are comfortable and whether the parents are happy to send their kids back to school."