Prime minister Boris Johnson said that around 89 per cent of pupils have returned to school this month and claimed this was a sign of “confidence in action” among parents and pupils.
During a press conference today to announce new Covid-19 restrictions on numbers of people gathering, he also said that schools would only ever close again as “a last resort.”
The chief medical officer Chris Whitty said that at present the number of cases of Covid-19 among school-aged children was low but that if it increased, the policy might need to be reviewed.
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The prime minister was asked whether the new restrictions announced today could affect public confidence.
He responded by saying that the return to school this month has been a sign of “confidence in action,” in the country.
He said: “One of the best things that has happened in the past couple of weeks is that parents, teachers, pupils have really risen to it and the numbers I am seeing – 99.9 per cent of schools are open now and we can build on that and something like 89 per cent of pupils are back in school, perhaps more in some places. That is confidence in action.”
The Department for Education has said that the 89 per cent figure used by the Prime Minister was "early intelligence" about the numbers returning at the start of the academic year.