Education Secretary Gavin Williamson insists we shouldn’t get “carried away with these new freedoms” and has refused to rule out more school closures later this year as a “last resort” if there is another wave of Covid ‘cases’. The Sun has the story.
Mr. Williamson is pleading with parents not to lower their guard and to go on with testing at home.
He said: “It is important not to get carried away with these new freedoms and throw caution to the wind.
“The last thing we want is for schools to partially close again, or for whole classes of pupils to be at home isolating.
“That should be only the last resort. We need to do everything we can to avoid the levels of disruption we saw last year from the pandemic.”
Whitehall officials remain confident fresh school closures are unlikely and say the country is in a very different place to last year.
They point to the success of the vaccine drive and the fact there are detailed plans to squash outbreaks.
But Mr. Williamson insisted schools must still follow Covid precautions, with regular testing a key element.
He added: “Parents, too, have a responsibility to make sure children are tested regularly.
“I know there are many things people would rather be doing, but it’s really important to make time for it.”
Department for Education guidance states that secondary school and college students in England should be checked twice on site on their return, with lateral flow tests between three and five days apart.
Pupils should continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when the policy will be reviewed.
Mr Williamson’s comments came days after experts said it was “highly likely” there would be high levels of Covid infection in schools by the end of September.
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