New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that some schools in the city will reopen on December 7. Intially, however, just elementary schools will be reopened for students whose parents agree to a weekly testing regimen for the novel coronavirus.

The decision will make around 330,000 students eligible to return to school. There are about 1.1 million students in New York City's public school system.

Talking to media persons, Bill de Blasio said: "It is a new approach because we have so much proof now of how safe schools can be." 

The Mayor told reporters that the 3% benchmark (positive tests) was being scrapped and pointing to research that shows young children appear to be less vulnerable to COVID-19. 

"Whatever happens ahead, we want this to be the plan going forward, because we now believe we know what we didn't know back in the summer," de Blasio said. 

"We know what works through actual experience and we know that if you put a heavy emphasis on testing, and you continually reinforce those health and safety measures ... We know you can keep the schools safe for the duration and link up to that day we have the vaccine that changes the whole reality for all of us."