The reopening of schools in Europe is not expected to trigger a major jump in novel coronavirus cases, EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a Saturday interview.
"Studies in several EU countries have shown that child-to-child transmission in schools is rare and that school reopenings have not been associated with a significant increase in infections," she told Italy's La Stampa newspaper.
"Current evidence suggests that if adequate hygiene measures are implemented, with students distanced or divided into groups, it is unlikely that schools may be a bigger source of infections than other places. And this is what we hope," she added.
Kyriakides also said the first vaccine against the virus could be available in late 2020 or early 2021. However, she stressed that making an exact prediction was "risky."
Pre-school children infected
Last week, Public Health England released a study indicating that out of more than 1 million children who attended pre-school and primary school in England in June, just 70 were affected by virus outbreaks.
"Where children did contract the infection, they were most likely to catch Covid-19 at home, usually from a parent. Half the outbreaks did not involve any students at all and transmission between students was very rare," Public Health England said.