UK PM Johnson confirms delayed school reopening in England, says Covid situation too ‘perilous’ to ease restrictions
Boris Johnson has dashed hopes that children might be able to return to school after the February half-term, noting that hospitals remain in a “perilous” situation and the government can’t take any risks with Covid-19 rampant.
“It will not be possible to reopen schools immediately after the half-term. I know how frustrating that will be to students and teachers who want nothing more than to get back to the classroom,” the prime minister said on Wednesday.
If we do, we run the risk of our NHS coming under still greater pressure, compelling us to reimpose every restriction and sustain those restrictions for longer.
Johnson noted that it was a priority to see kids in England get back to school, but insisted the decision would be taken as soon as the time was right.
The PM said it was still too early to relax restrictions, adding that the National Health Service cannot be put further at risk.
“We remain in a perilous situation, with more than 37,000 patients now in hospital with Covid, almost double the peak of the first wave,” Johnson added.
The PM also insisted that schools are indeed “safe,” but the risks of bringing communities together posed a high risk, and “a large number of kids are a considerable vector of transmission.”
The government claims teachers are at no extra risk of catching Covid-19 and has not announced any plans for prioritizing teachers for vaccination against the virus, despite pressure from opposition parties.
Schools have remained closed since Christmas, with only the children of key workers receiving in-person teaching.
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