Boris Johnson visiting a school in Upminster on August 10, 2020 | Pool photo by Lucy Young/AFP via Getty Images
Boris Johnson: British schools must reopen full time by September
UK prime minister says he does not want to close English institutions even if local lockdowns are imposed.
Updated 8/10/20, 1:12 PM CET
LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today he hopes schools in England would not be forced to close even if local lockdowns are needed to tackle a coronavirus outbreak.
During a visit to a school in east London, Johnson insisted it is the country’s “moral duty” to ensure children return to school full time in September, and that he is “very keen” that exams should go ahead as normal.
He added that closing schools will be a measure of last resort.
“I very much hope that doesn’t happen for any pupils but clearly what we are doing — the way we are trying to manage the COVID pandemic — is to have local measures in place and local test and trace to introduce restrictions where that’s necessary,” he said. “But, as we have all said, the last thing we want to do is to close schools. We think education is the priority for the country and that is simple social justice.”
Schools across the U.K. closed on March 20 for all pupils with the exception of children of key workers or in situations of vulnerability. They began to reopen on June 1, starting with early year pupils (ages 3-4),