Schools shouldn’t re-open until there is a Wales-wide mass testing programme in place, Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister Sian Gwenllian AM has said.
Ms Gwenllian was responding to Education Minister Kirsty Williams to said today that “not all pupils” will return to school at once when coronavirus restrictions are eased.
Ms Williams said there would be “a phased approach in allowing more pupils to return to school”, based on five principles and that school provision would “gradually adapt and extend further during the next phase in line with changes to the current restrictions outlined by the first minister last week”.
However Sian Gwenllian AM warned that any plans to re-open schools should be “directly linked to a national exit strategy based on testing, tracing and containing” which she said did not currently exist.
Ms Gwenllian said that without a Wales-wide mass testing and contact tracing programme in place, Wales would not be able to safely lift restrictions and avoid another outbreak. She said it was “concerning” the Welsh Government “would even think” of talking about re-opening schools without having a c ontact tracing plan in place.
Sian Gwenllian AM added,
“Any plans to re-open our schools should be directly linked to a national exit strategy based on testing, tracing and containing. This does not currently exist.
“Without a Wales-wide mass testing and contact tracing programme in place, we will not be able to safely lift restrictions and avoid another outbreak. It is concerning that the Welsh Government would even think of discussing re-opening schools without having such a plan in place.