Flemish Youth Minister says that schools should remain open if there is a second wave

The Flemish Youth Minister Benjamin Dalle (Christian democrat) has said in a newspaper interview that he believes that schools and playgrounds should remain open in the event of a second wave of novel coronavirus infections. Schools partially re-opened two weeks ago after having been closed for 9 weeks. Meanwhile, playgrounds re-opened for the under 12’s last Wednesday.

Speaking in an interview with the Sunday free-sheet ‘De Zondag’ Mr Dalle, himself the father of three children, said that things should be done differently if a second wave of novel coronavirus infections comes and measures have to be taken to curb the spread of the virus.

Mr Dalle believes that decision-makers should pay more attention to the needs of children and young people when deciding on the measures that need to be taken. The Minister told the paper that “The needs of children should be a central concern from day one. For example we now know that the risk of the virus spreading is much less in the open air. As far as I am concerned playgrounds and skate parks shouldn’t be closed again.

But what about schools? "They shouldn’t either. We could best keep them open. The closure of the schools has had an enormous impact on children. Almost all European countries have closed their schools. Given what we know now we should not have to do that again. We now know that other measures such as contact bubbles can prevent the virus from spreading", Mr Dalle added. 

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