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'It is safe for your child at school' says Health Secretary

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that to save lives, "we must acknowledge that life will be different, at least for the foreseeable future".

However, his road map out of lockdown appears to have raised more questions than it answers, causing widespread confusion.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock joins us to discuss the 50-page dossier.


The government expects children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school.

This aims to ensure that the youngest children, and those preparing for the transition to secondary school, have maximum time with their teachers.

Matt Hancock said: "We wouldn't be proposing this if we didn't think it was safe. Children, thankfully, are very rarely affected by this." He continued, "It is safe for the children".

"We will keep a very, very close eye on it, but the real message - the most important message that I want to get across to parents like me, is that it is safe for your child at school".


The government has updated its advice to say people can now meet up with one person from outside their household, as long as it is outdoors.

When Phillip asked if that meant the government was asking us to pick between our parents, Matt Hancock clarified the guidelines by saying: "One at a time Phillip. So you can see one, and then you can see the other, and that's fine".

When pressed if you could see parents 10 minutes apart, Mr Hancock relied "Yes, that's fine."

However, he continued by saying "We are not recommending that people do that in their own gardens, and the reason for that is that ... you often have to go through the house to get to the garden, and indoors is a lot higher risk than outdoors."


The government is now advising that people should aim to wear face covering to protect those around them in,"enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops."

When asked if we should have been wearing face masks all the way through, Matt Hancock said: "The evidence is weak on this - it is not cut and dried. The most important thing is that the formal face mask - the clinical face mask - should be saved for people in the NHS and social care, where they're really, really important".

"If you're in a confined space, but for a reasonable period of time, but not with people who you're there with for a long time - like in a school or an office. If it's for a period of 15 - 20 minutes, for instance if you're travelling on public transport, then there is some evidence that a face covering doesn't particularly help you, but it stops you from spreading it if you've got it, but don't yet have symptoms."


Yesterday's guidance said: "As more people return to work, the number of journeys on public transport will also increase," and the government is "working with public transport providers to bring services back towards pre-COVID-19 levels as quickly as possible.

When asked how people can go to work if they're not fit enough to walk or cycle, the Health Secretary said: "Only 15% - less than one in six people people commute on public transport - of course that number's much bigger in London. People should avoid public transport unless they absolutely have to use it, because it is safer when fewer people are on it. So we should leave public transport for the people who can't avoid it".

"We strongly encourage people not to use public transport unless they absolutely have to.''


There has been a shortage of PPE for frontline workers throughout the pandemic, with the Doctors' Association UK demanding the governement launch an inquiry into the failure to provide adequate protection for NHS and care staff.

When asked why he can't sort out the PPE shortage, Mr Hancock said: "We have made huge progress. One of the indicators of whether PPE has worked for healthcare staff is that we saw figures yesterday showing that the proportion of people who have died who are NHS employees is exactly the same as the rest of the country".

"The suppliers are much better than they were a month ago. We're making serious progress in the right direction, but as I've said before, I won't rest until everybody gets the PPE that they need".


The Health Secretary said "I think that's likely to be the case. We haven't made a final decision on that yet, but it is clear that we will seek to reopen hospitality - some hospitality, from early July, if we keep successfully reducing the spread of this virus. But I think social distancing of some kind is going to continue, and the conclusion from that is that big, lavish, international holidays are not going to be possible for this summer."

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