Schools might not open before the summer, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hinted.
And, in last night’s Downing Street press conference (Tuesday January 5), he could not guarantee that they would be opening before the summer holidays.
However, he insisted schools will be first in line of places to open post-lockdown.
The admission comes after a new variant of the virus runs rampant across the country.
What did Mr Johnson say about when schools will open?
Mr Johnson could only say he “hopes” school will reopen by the summer holidays.
With the vaccine program now active across the country, parents hoped schools would be open sooner rather later.
However, Mr Johnson said last night: “On whether we can be absolutely sure schools can reopen…
“We think that with the vaccination programme we can do a huge amount to take the most vulnerable out of the path of this virus. That offers opportunities to do things differently.”
Meanwhile, speaking on Wednesday, Mr Johnson told the House of Commons that schools will be “the very first thing” to reopen.
He added: “That moment may come after the February half term – although we should remain extremely cautious about the timetable ahead.”
Why have schools closed?
Mr Johnson shut down schools and universities for an initial seven weeks because of a surge in numbers of people contracting the disease.
The NHS is also under pressure to cope.
Already, GSCE and A-Levels exams have been cancelled.
Even though Mr Johnson has said that keeping schools open is “imperative to any society”, he also said he had no choice but to close them.
Vaccination claims played down
Mr Johnson’s admission comes after doubts grew about the government’s vaccination program.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock appeared to play down the PM’s plan to vaccinate 13 million vulnerable Brits by mid-February.
According to the Daily Mail, Mr Hancock was said to have spoken to the Prime Minister via Zoom.
During that conversation, it’s claimed that he cast doubt on whether the vaccinations could be administered in time.
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