Abstract / Description of output
With nationwide school closures currently operating in 191 countries, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has estimated that 1.6 billion (90.2%) students are currently out of primary, secondary and tertiary education (henceforth schools) as a result of the global COVID-19 lockdown. These restrictions have been introduced to help maintain physical distancing and have contributed to the stabilising incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections and resulting COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths now being witnessed in many parts of the world. These measures have the potential however – particularly if prolonged – to result in major detrimental effects on the health and well-being of children and adolescents. In the absence of a robust evidence base on lockdown exit strategies, we consider the range of options being taken globally to reopen schools with a view to informing the formulation of national plans.