Coronavirus live updates as Boris Johnson urges parents to send kids to school

Here’s what Boris Johnson has said about schools reopening:“I have previously spoken about the moral duty to reopen schools to all pupils safely, and I would like to thank the school staff who have spent the summer months making classrooms Covid-secure in preparation for a full return in September.“We have always been guided by our scientific and medical experts, and we now know far more about coronavirus than we did earlier this year.“As the chief medical officer has said, the risk of contracting Covid-19 in school is very small and it is far more damaging for a child’s development and their health and wellbeing to be away from school any longer.“This is why it’s vitally important that we get our children back into the classroom to learn and to be with their friends. Nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of our children than returning to school.”Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith wrote in the Daily Telegraph that the Government “needs to show it governs with a steady hand, based on a clear strategy and message”.He added: “This battle over schools reopening must see the Prime Minister in the lead, galvanising his inner Churchill.“It is a fight that if the Government wins, will see the start of an uplift in its fortunes and win it must.”Mr Johnson’s comments come after the UK’s chief medical officers issued a joint statement seeking to reassure parents that it was safe to send their children back to school.They said “very few, if any” children and teenagers would come to long-term harm from the virus solely by attending school, while there was a “certainty” of harm from not returning.A Public Health England (PHE) analysis, published on Sunday, found there were 67 single confirmed cases, four “co-primary cases” (two or more linked cases diagnosed at the same time) and 30 outbreaks of Covid-19 in schools during June.It said the majority of cases linked to outbreaks were in staff and warned that school staff needed to be “more vigilant for exposure outside the school setting to protect themselves, their families and the educational setting”.The analysis also said further school closures may be necessary in regions with increasing community infection but this should “be considered only in extremis”.
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