UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the reopening of schools in England as a “national effort” to beat coronavirus, even though some experts warned that the country is still not “out of the woods”.
On Februay 22, Johnson had announced his long-anticipated “roadmap” exiting the lockdown, under which schools in England are scheduled to reopen from Monday as first part of the four-step plan, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the Prime Minister, the plan was designed to be “cautious but irreversible”.
Under the guidance, secondary schools students across England are to receive three Covid-19 lateral-flow tests before using at-home kits twice a week.
Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Johnson said: “The reopening of schools marks a truly national effort to beat this virus.
“It is because of the determination of every person in this country that we can start moving closer to a sense of normality — and it is right that getting our young people back into the classroom is the first step.”
Meanwhile, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said that Monday will “mark a moment of joy for millions of people across the country”.
“I do not underestimate how challenging the last few months have been with some children in class and most at home, but I do know how important it is for all children to be back in school, not only for their education but for their mental health and wellbeing,” he said.
However, experts have warned Britain is “still not out of the woods” amid concerns over new variants and the risks of the public breaching restriction rules.
“We have done fantastically well in the last couple of months but we are not completely out of the woods yet,” Britain’s National Statistician Ian Diamond said on March 6.
“I’m in very much the view that we should do everything we can not to blow it nationally,” Diamond added.