Government Minister, Michael Gove has insisted that schools in England are safe to reopen, although he has acknowledged that “you can never eliminate risk”.

The Chancellor to the Duchy of Lancaster has said that the key issue was to make schools in the country safe with there being staggered arrivals and smaller class numbers.

The government has set out plans to begin a phased reopening programme for primary schools in England from June 1. But teachers unions, backed by the British Medical Association, have raised concerns about safety.

Gove said: “The only way to insure that you never catch coronavirus is to stay at home completely.

“However, in loosening restrictions, there is always a risk of people catching coronavirus.

A former Education Secretary, he said that the UK is learning from the return to school for children in other countries in Europe.

But, as coronavirus cases continue to rise locally, some local authorities in the country have challenged the government’s timetable and have no plans to reopen on June 1.

Schools in Wales are not set to open on that day, whilst authorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland are planning to reopen schools after the summer holiday.