Resistance to reopening schools complicates Johnson’s de-escalation plan

The resistance of part of the educational community to reopen schools within fifteen days, as proposed by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, adds difficulties to his de-escalation plan, from which Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already unmarked.

In England, workers who cannot do their jobs remotely have begun returning to their jobs this week, in which the daily death toll from COVID-19 has dropped from 627 on Tuesday to 384 on Friday.

According to the data provided by the Ministry of Health, in the last 24 hours 3,560 new infections have been detected in the whole of the United Kingdom, after 133,784 tests were carried out in one day.

The coronavirus (R) transmission ratio, one of the key factors for advancing the de-escalation roadmap, is between 0.7 and 1, above the 0.5-0.9 range that was recorded last week, as indicated by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which advises the Government.

Faced with the perception that the virus continues to spread, teacher unions have urged Johnson to back down on his intention to restart three elementary grades starting June 1 and have warned that many schools cannot meet the Recommended security measures, such as limiting each class to 15 students.

Liverpool Mayor Laborman Joe Anderson has said he is “willing to resist” and keep schools closed in one of the areas with the highest proportion of COVID-19 infections in the UK.

The youth department of that city council has warned in a letter to parents with school-age children not to expect the centers to be open again in two weeks and that they will only resume the activity when they can be “convinced that the schools they are safe for both children and employees. “

The Minister of Education, Gavin Williamson, has assured, however, that it is “vital” for the development of schoolchildren that they return to classes as soon as possible.

“I want to give assurances to parents and families that we are providing schools, kindergartens and other service providers with all the support and guidance they need to accommodate more children in a phased manner, and never before June 1 “, he claimed.

However, given the concern generated by the reopening, the ministry has stressed that it will not impose sanctions on parents who decide not to take their children to school until next year.


The controversial reopening of the schools adds to the criticism that the Johnson government has suffered due to the confusion caused by the return to work of various sectors this week, due to the fear that crowds will form on public transport.

The Government has pledged to inject £ 1.6bn (€ 1.8bn) into Transport for London, the company that manages transportation in the British capital, to ensure it continues to operate at full capacity despite declining revenue.

In return, the Executive has agreed with the mayor of London, the Labor Sadiq Khan, a 30% increase in the rate paid by private vehicles to access the city center.

Starting on Monday, that toll will be collected again, of 11.50 pounds (13 euros), which had been suspended during the confinement, and its amount will amount to 15 pounds (16.8 euros) from June 22, when its validity will also be extended to weekends.

Khan has announced, at the same time, that he plans to close a large area of ​​the city center to cars and vans to facilitate bicycle mobility and decongest public transport.


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