Schools are now open to all children, not just children of key workers, and there are a raft of measures in place, including enhanced daily cleaning, new rules around face coverings and regular Covid testing for pupils.
While there are additional procedures inside schools, scientists believe the risk of coronavirus transmission is actually greater at the school gates, when parents congregate as they are dropping off and collecting their children.
NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Vale of York CCG say it is imperative parents play their part by sticking to social distancing rules and wearing suitable face coverings, if they are waiting for their children outside.
Amanda Bloor, accountable officer of NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Schools have been open throughout the pandemic to children of key workers, but with all children now able to go back to the classroom, it is a welcome first step in the road back to some kind of normality.
“But we must remember we are still in a national lockdown.
“This means we should only leave our home for permitted purposes and when we do, face coverings and social distancing measures should be observed to the letter. Continued good hand hygiene will also help prevent spread of the virus.
“We are seeing steady progress week on week as the NHS continues to deliver the vaccination programme and with the number of seriously ill patients in our hospitals decreasing. But now is not the time to be complacent.”
Dr Nigel Wells, clinical chair of NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We cannot let down our guard for an instant. Covid is still circulating in York and North Yorkshire and we all need to continue to play our part to keep cases low.
“If we start to relax now, we risk undoing the excellent progress we have made. Continued adherence to Government advice is the best way to stay on the current trajectory and ensure we can meet the milestones ahead.”