A group of academics and experts specialising in paediatrics and health say a premature return to school could lead to further transmission of COVID-19 with “devastating” effects, Newshub reports. They are calling on the Health and Education Ministries to take urgent preventative measures to facilitate a safe return, including: Staff vaccination, regular testing, ventilation and physical distancing in schools, guindance regarding extracurricular activies, and increased support for parents and school staff. Auckland union members are ‘astonished’ they could be back in school on 18 October while businesses like restaurants and hairdressers remain shut.