Parents should send their children to elementary schools open Monday in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
Mr Johnson told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show, “Yes, absolutely in areas where schools are open.
“We are clearly dealing with a new variant of the coronavirus, which is increasing particularly strongly in London and in the south-east.
“And that’s why we had to take extraordinary measures.”
Boris Johnson said he understands fears about schools reopening.
When asked if he would take legal action against councils that have decided not to reopen elementary schools, the Prime Minister said: “We will work very hard with authorities across the country to get our message across that we are schools for keep safe there is absolutely no doubt that schools are safe.
“I understand people’s frustrations, I understand people’s fears, but I have no doubt that schools are safe and that education is a priority.
“And if you think about the history of the pandemic, we kept the schools going long, long, in areas where the pandemic was really at a very high level.”
Mr Johnson added, “We will keep this under review, but we are driven by public health considerations and the massive importance of education.”
Mr Johnson said, “We have fought really, really hard across the country during this pandemic to keep schools open for many reasons.
“Schools are safe. It’s very, very important to emphasize that.
“The risk to children and young people is indeed very, very low.
“The risk for employees is very low.
“I would advise all parents to think about what they want to do. Take a look at where your area is. Most of the time, you are in a part of the country where elementary schools are open tomorrow.”
His plea comes after the Secretary General of the National Association of Head Teachers Paul Whiteman urged a “sustainable” return to schools when he accused the Department of Education (DfE) of “making last-minute decisions for not taking proactive action have seized ”.
“Besides the parents, there is no one who is more involved in the care and upbringing of children than the school principals and their teams,” he told BBC Breakfast.
“And anyone who tries to paint the picture that we are against caring for and raising children is simply doing so and misleading the public on political grounds.
“We’re talking about understanding the risks. Take a short break so we can agree on the right remedial action in the schools to make them Covid-safe, ensure that staff and teams are vaccinated, and that we’re in the schools properly Get a supported test regime to make them as safe as possible.
“And then an orderly return to school that is sustainable, rather than the chaos we experienced during the pandemic. The DfE makes last-minute decisions because they haven’t taken proactive measures.”
“So we all agree that school is the best place for children. We just want to do it well, we want to achieve a sustainable return.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham suggested there could be a “chaotic situation” on Monday with the return of most primary school children in England to school.
He told the BBC’s breakfast program: “There are a lot of parents in Greater Manchester who are waking up rather anxious this morning, including teachers and support staff in schools and children, of course.
“So there are a lot of people who are worried about what is happening and I think the really important thing is that this is not going to be a big political battle today.
“What we need to find is a practical way through all of this. I would say the current rate won’t work. “
He added, “I think it’s going to be a pretty chaotic situation tomorrow given all the fears people have.”