The Education Secretary, Gavin Williams has announced in the House of Commons that all schools across England are to close from Friday, until further notice. He added, independent schools and boarding schools should also close.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has also announced from Downing Street in a press briefing that all schools in England are to close. Children of key workers will stay in school along with most vulnerable children.
Johnson also said, that children should not be left with older grandparents or older relatives who may be particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
“I want to thank families for their sacrifice,” he adds. “I want to thank teachers, all the support staff who keep schools going.”
Williams said, “This year’s exams will not go ahead” as the spike of the virus is increasing at a faster pace than anticipated, and taking these measures “will save people’s lives.”
The government’s chief scientific advisor. Professor Sir Patrick Vallance said the “overriding consideration is to save lives and protect the most vulnerable.”
Sir Patrick said, people’s behaviour has already been changing, but he added, “The thing we must protect… is to make sure that the NHS, intensive care capacity and ventilator capacity is not breached.”
He says that schools did not need to be shut from the start as they are “not dangerous places” for pupils or teachers, “but this extra bit is now important to protect NHS capacity” and stop the spread.
Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, said the whole approach is to reduce the social contact throughout society.
“This measure moves that on a small amount but it is not to do with the safety of the children.”
Schools in Northern Ireland are to close “with immediate” and staff from Friday in response to coronavirus.
Scotland and Wales are set to close all schools from Friday due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon warned that schools may not open until the end of the summer term.
She said too many teachers and staff members have now been lost and are unable to continue as normal.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen by 676 in the UK bringing the total to 2,626.
32 more people have died in England after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of UK deaths to 104.
The John Hopkins university released figures today showing there had been 201,530 recorded coronavirus cases, and that the worldwide death toll had reached 8,006.
City AM’s Cat Neilan said on Wednesday afternoon that travel in and out of London could be “severely restricted” in a move that “feels like” a “lockdown.”
London is the “worst affected “city with coronavirus in the UK as at least 25 people have died in the capital and there are 621 cases.
According to England’s chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance for every death there could be at least 1,000 people that have coronavirus, meaning at least 25,000 Londoners could be infected with coronavirus.