The Danish reopening has, so far, been smooth. The country’s R number rose briefly in the two weeks after pupils up to the age of 11 returned, creeping up from 0.7 to 0.9, but it has since fallen back. On Friday, the country passed a major milestone: the first day without a death from coronavirus since March. There were just 137 people being treated in hospital for coronavirus.

The reopening of schools – which has seen classes split in two to keep two metres between each child, more lessons taught outside and a rigorous hand-sanitising regime – has not led to a spike in cases among staff. “We have seen very few incidents where teachers have become ill with coronavirus,” Lange says.

But as well as being one of the first countries to reopen schools, Denmark was also one of the first to close them, with its prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, imposing a lockdown at least a week ahead of the UK.

On 13 March, the day the Cheltenham Festival drew nearly 70,000 people, Denmark closed its borders. It had ordered schools to close two days earlier, and on 17 March, it closed restaurants, bars and most shops, limiting gatherings to 10 people. So, by the time primary schools reopened, the pandemic was already under control, with 200 people being treated in intensive care with coronavirus – about 3.5 for every 100,000 citizens.

There is also a sharp contrast between the acrimonious handling of the negotiations in the UK and those that were held by Lange and others. While the UK government has been wary of sharing the scientific advice it receives, the process in Denmark began with the publication of a report from the country’s infectious diseases agency, SSI. This modelled the likely effect of reopening, based on the assumptions that children spread the infection at the same rate as adults and have no ability to socially distance.

SSI concluded that, although the R number would increase, this was likely to lead to only 264 coronavirus patients in intensive care at any one time.

Teachers’ unions accepted SSI’s conclusions and used them as the basis for the negotiations over guidelines. “We’re not scientists, we’re not professors of epidemiology, so we don’t know anything about that. We have to trust the authorities,” Lange says, adding, however, that she doesn’t blame her British counterparts for acting in the way they have.