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Boris Johnson says ‘schools are safe’ as he orders kids back this week

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Boris Johnson has said there is 'no doubt' that schools are safe as he urged parents to send their kids back to the classrooms, if open, tomorrow.

Chaos has gripped England’s plans for schools reopening as unions tell teachers to stay out the classroom.

And heads took legal action over the government’s plans, and senior Tories warned that schools may have to remain closed for weeks yet.

The National Education Union advised primary school staff it is unsafe to teach in person and called for a blanket closure, except for key worker children.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson faced calls to resign over the fiasco.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this morning, Boris said there was "no doubt" that schools are safe as he urged parents to send their children in.

“We’ve had to take exceptional measures in some parts to close primary schools temporarily. It’s not something anybody wants to do.

"We’ve fought hard to keep schools open. Schools are safe, it’s important to stress that.

“The risk to staff is very small and of course the benefits of education are so huge. We want to keep our young people one education. I would advise all parents to look at all your areas, overwhelmingly you’ll be somewhere where primary schools are open.”

He added: "We need to see that those extra steps that we’ve taken in Tier Four are going to work in driving the virus down.

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“We’ve got to keep things under constant review but we will be driven not by any political considerations but entirely by the public health question."

It comes after 57,275 people tested positive, Public Health England said, in one of the UK’s biggest rises in new cases.

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals is at record levels in many areas of England including London, the South West and the Midlands.

In some areas hospital admissions have risen above the levels seen during the first wave.

  • UK records highest number of Covid cases since pandemic began

Grilled over whether he will take legal action over councils who have taken a different approach and closed schools, Boris said he “understood” the frustration and anxiety.

“There is no doubt in my mind schools are safe,” he said.

But Boris was not able to confirm that schools would reopen as plan across the country, as he hinted that closures could come if "driven by public health considerations."

He said: "The question now is can we bring the virus under control. We will keep this under constant review and we will be driven by public health considerations."

The Prime Minster added that he wanted to see weekly lateral flow tests in secondary school to avoid the virus spreading.

"I believe and hope these can be used particularly in secondary schools to assist the return of schools. Weekly lateral testing will make a huge difference," he said.

  • Coronavirus

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