Boris says ‘schools are safe’ and children should go back ‘where open’

Parents in England should send their children back to the classroom tomorrow if they can, urged the prime minister.

Boris Johnson moved to reassure primary schools parents that schools are safe and the risk to young people of the new variant is ‘very, very small’.

When asked if the parents of young pupils should send them back to schools tomorrow, he told the BBC Andrew Marr Show: ‘Absolutely they should in the areas where schools are open.

‘And what we’re doing clearly is grappling with a new variant of the virus, which is surging particularly in London and the south east, and that’s why we’ve had to take exceptional measures in some parts to keep primary schools closed temporarily.

‘Not something anybody wants to do, we’ve really fought very hard throughout the pandemic across the country to keep schools open.

‘For lots of reasons – schools are safe – very very important to stress that – the threat, the risk to kids, to young people is really very, very small indeed.’

He said parents should be guided by public health advice, adding: ‘Which at the moment is that schools are safe, where we’re not bing driven by the new variant, where children’s education is priority… We have to be humble in the face of the impact of this new variant’.

The PM said this means ‘we face a very difficult’ few weeks and months ahead until the vaccines ‘come on stream in a massive way’.

Talking about the surge of the mutant variant, he warned that the public are facing tougher restrictions.

He added: ‘That’s why it’s necessary to take the tough action we’ve had on schools, its not something we relish…

‘We’re entirely reconciled to do what it takes to get the virus down and that may involved tougher measures in the weeks ahead.’

It comes after the head of England’s schools watchdog said children’s education ‘cannot be furloughed’ amid school closures.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow…

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