Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister has made it clear that reopening schools in September was a social, economic and moral imperative and insisted they would be able to operate safely despite the ongoing threat from the pandemic.
Johnson made the remarks as a result of a study earlier this month which warned that Britain risks a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as large as the initial outbreak if schools open without an improved test-and-trace system.
In a Sunday Mail writing, Johnson stated that restarting schools was a national priority. He explained that schools would be the last places to close in future local lockdowns; he was quoted by another newspaper as telling a meeting on Thursday.
In England, schools were closed in March during a national lockdown, except for the children of key workers, and reopened in June for a small number of pupils.
So in what Johnson has called a “national priority”, the government wants all pupils to return to school by early September
According to Johnson, “Keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible.
“This pandemic isn’t over, and the last thing any of us can afford to do is become complacent. But now that we know enough to reopen schools to all pupils safely, we have a moral duty to do so”.
In a Sunday Times newspaper report, he has ordered a public relations campaign to ensure schools open on time and told the meeting last week that they should be the last places to close behind restaurants, pubs and shops.