Boris Johnson warns ‘don’t close schools’ on Omicron

The Children’s Commissioner has said children have ‘suffered a huge impact’ over the Covid lockdowns (Image: Getty)

Boris Johnson was warned “not to close schools” by the Children’s Commissioner in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Dame Rachel de Souza said children ‘have had a huge impact on us’ during previous lockdowns, adding that she would advise avoiding closures ‘if there is any option. is different’.

It comes as Omicron cases in the UK totaled 160 yesterday following 26 positive tests yesterday.

People who test positive for Omicron are being asked to self-isolate for 10 days, with targeted testing underway in areas where outbreaks have occurred.

Cases have now been identified in the East Midlands, East of England, London, North East, North West, South East, South West and West Midlands, as well as parts of Scotland and Wales.

The rules for masks and PCR testing for travelers have been reintroduced, but Dame Rachel cautioned against measures that could affect children.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, she said: ‘[Lockdown] It’s been a terrible time for the whole nation, that’s also why I don’t think we should close schools again, we can’t. ‘

She added: ‘I would urge him (the Prime Minister) not to close schools… They (children) want things back to normal, they have given us a huge shock.

‘We must no longer close schools, and my fellow principals around the country are very good at managing this.

‘I’ve seen them rush to support the most vulnerable and I would definitely advise against doing this, if there were any other options.’

Asked why 208,000 children weren’t going to school, Dame Rachel said: ‘Usually around this time you would have 94 per cent of children going to school in a normal year, we’re in our 80s now, so most kids go to school, most kids want to go to school… some are because of Covid, some are other reasons. ‘

The figure of 208,000 was recorded on 25 November and represents 2.6% of all pupils in England. That is a significant increase for the 130,000 students (1.6%) who did not attend school on 11 November.

On the question of immunizations for 5 to 11 year olds, Dame Rachel said: ‘I’m looking forward to seeing what the JCVI (Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization) has to say.

‘What I mean, two things: One is that children told me an anecdote when I was traveling around the country that they liked vaccines because they wanted to support their elderly relatives.

‘This is a selfless nation, young generation, we need to be very grateful to them, but there are also some countries that have gone ahead of us and we can see the scientific results of that.’

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Huynh Nguyen

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