No plans to close school before Christmas holidays: British Minister


The British government plans to keep the school open until Christmas holidays, despite the detection of the Omicron COVID-19 mutant in the country, the minister said Wednesday.

When asked if the school should be kept open, Children’s Minister Will Quince told the Board of Commons’ Board of Education, “It’s certainly our plan and we want the school to stay open.” Told.

Quince also said that it was “extremely regrettable” that some schools canceled the traditional nativity play, which he said was “one of the most beautiful.”

He acknowledged that in some areas it could be “highly infected”. “In other words, I think it ultimately comes down to trusting the school, the principal, and the person responsible for public health.”

His comments came after union officials called on the school to cancel the mass rally on Christmas amid a staff shortage caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Justin McCamphill, a national civil servant at the NASUWT Education Union in Northern Ireland, said the government may need to consider closing school circuit breakers to stop the spread of the virus.

However, Downing Street said on Tuesday that there was no guidance to the school suggesting that they should cancel the nativity play.

An official spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: Schools, of course, need to consider their individual needs, but there is no guidance for that. “

Johnson said at a press conference Tuesday night that the government did not want people to cancel Christmas parties and nativity plays.

“We don’t want people to cancel such an event. As I’ve said many times throughout this pandemic, I think the overwhelming best thing for kids is to be in school,” he said. Said.

“What we are doing is focusing on the specific risks that Omicron seems to be raising, or certainly Omicron, with a particular focus on border measures. We are trying to take a balanced and proportional approach. “

Masks are now recommended in the common areas of secondary schools and universities in the United Kingdom, following the emergence of variants of Omicron.

Robert Halfon, Chairman of the Conservative Party of the Board of Education, wondered why schools face stricter security measures than other environments.

He said he didn’t understand why “people are allowed to go to nightclubs and bars, but schools are closing nativity plays or going online.”

In response to concerns, Quince said: “We’re taking a cautious approach, given what we don’t know about the new variant at this time, but in the end, it’s all about keeping the school and education open.”

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan