Boris Johnson Insists ‘Schools Will Not Open’ Before March 8 Despite Tory Backlash.
BORIS JOHNSON has insisted schools WILL NOT open before March 8 despite a Tory backlash as he warns returning to classrooms too soon could force the UK ‘into reverse’. It is currently unclear whether all students will return to schools soon, or whether it will be phased in by region and age group.
Mr Johnson told the press briefing: “The problem is that by definition schools bring many households together and that contributes to the spread of the virus within the community and drives up the R.”
He also said: “I’m hopeful, but that’s the earliest that we can do it and it depends on lots of things going right. It also depends on us all now continuing, above all, to work together to drive down the incidents of the disease.”
The PM said the toll of the pandemic must also be measured in the “real risk of damage to the prospects of our young” people. He said: “When we look at the toll of this pandemic it must be measured not only in the tragic loss of life that we’ve endured, with over 100,000 deaths.
“But I’m afraid we must also remember not just the damage to the economy but the lost weeks and month of education and the real risk of damage to the prospects of our young people. So I share very much the frustration of pupils and teachers today who want nothing more than to get back to the classroom.”
A “gradual and phased approach” to lifting lockdown measures will be outlined by the government in the week of the 22 February, with parents and teachers given at least two weeks notice ahead of the return to classrooms. Acknowledging that many are looking for a road-map out of the lockdown, he added: “We will not persist for a day longer than is necessary, but nor can we relax too soon.”
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