As the chief of the OBR made crystal-clear yesterday, the scarring will be permanent unless society can be returned to some semblance of normality as soon as is safely possible.
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Which means serious thought must now be given to getting businesses open: if that involves masks in workplaces and Perspex separations in cafes and bars, so be it. It might feel strange at first, but we’ll get used to it.
Militant unions telling teachers they should refuse to go back to work must also urgently rethink their stance.
Reopening schools is obviously essential if we are to prevent the poorest and most vulnerable children falling behind — new research reveals that better-off children are spending a whopping 30 per cent more time each day on education than those from poorer homes.
But as parents can only go back to work once their kids are in class, it’s also the only way to kickstart the economy.
Of course, there will always be an element of risk to getting society up and running again. Even before coronavirus, it would have been impossible for anyone to guarantee the safety of every worker every day.
But the Government has stressed it’s “extremely unlikely” a school could be the source of a Covid-19 outbreak.
And given the risks frontliners take every single day, that assurance should be good enough for teaching unions.
Points the way
WE welcome the news that the Government plans to push ahead with legislation to end free movement and replace it with a points-based immigration system before the end of this year.
The new system is exactly what Brexit-voting Sun readers wanted: it will let us welcome the brightest and best — including doctors, nurses and carers — to the UK based on what they have to offer, not where they come from.
And it’s logical to get it introduced quickly so businesses have time to prepare before the transition period ends.
Let’s hope MPs have the sense to back the bill.
The trace race
WE can all sleep a little more soundly in our beds now the Government looks set to hit its target of recruiting 18,000 contact-tracers by the end of next week.
It’s been obvious for a long time that widespread testing and tracing is the best way to contain the virus: all the countries that have fared best have been doing it from the start.
But thanks to dodgy advice from Public Health England, Boris and his ministers gave up on it back in March.
What a relief they’ve finally seen the light.
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