BLACKBURN and Darwen nurseries and primary schools will start to reopen to more pupils on Monday, but the earliest the equivalents in the surrounding Lancashire Council area will follow suit is a week later.

Primary headteachers in Hyndburn, Burnley, Ribble Valley, Pendle and Rossendale have been warned to postpone welcoming back children other than those of key workers or those deemed vulnerable until June 15.

County council public health director Dr Sakthi Karunanithi will review his advice on Monday and, if it changes, primaries will be encouraged to welcome more pupils a week later.

His Blackburn with Darwen counterpart Professor Dominic Harrison has given the go-ahead for junior and infants schools to reopen for all nursery and reception class pupils next week.

On June 15 they are guided to start accepting Year One pupils and the following Monday children in Year Six.

Professor Harrison has advised that from June 15 secondary schools and sixth-form colleges can begin to welcome back students in Year Ten for some face-to-face learning to prepare for GCSE exams next year, with a quarter in class at any point.

He said: “After careful consideration our position remains that primary schools can begin a cautious phased extension of opening to the identified key year groups from June 8 over a three-week period.”

Dr Karunanithi said: “My professional opinion was it was not yet safe for schools to open to more children.”

He promised to review his advice weekly.