Council leaders have called for the power to close schools or nurseries that have new clusters of COVID-19.
The Local Government Association (LGA) also said schools should be able to make their own decisions about reopening in consultation with councils.
Chair of the LGA’s children and young people board, Cllr Judith Blake, said: 'Councils need to be able to close provision where testing indicates clusters of new COVID-19 cases.'
Some councils have also warned that schools should re-open 'safely' rather than 'quickly'.
Cabinet member for children’s services at Knowsley MBC, Cllr Margaret Harvey, said: 'Our position in Knowsley is clear – schools will re-open when it is safe to do so.'
Directly-elected mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has also vowed to put 'safety first'.