Coronavirus: Islington Council advises schools to move learning online after 'serious' rise in cases

Islington Council urged schools to close in the run up to Christmas, after a rise in Covid cases

Two people wearing face masks look at a display of Christmas trees in Covent Garden - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Islington Council has advised schools to move to online learning by the end of tomorrow, following a serious rise in coronavirus cases across London.

Cases are doubling every few days in London, the council says, and "the more people mix, the easier it is for the virus to spread and take hold".

The virus can be devastating for people of all ages, with older residents especially at risk of serious illness or death.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said this morning that London could enter into Tier 3 restrictions, and has proposed schools in London close early ahead of Christmas.

However Downing Street has rejected the proposal, saying that "not being in school has a detrimental impact on children's learning, personal development and mental health".

According to the latest available figures, in Islington there were an average of 46 new cases a day in the week leading up to December 6, and three deaths. Islington's weekly incidence rate was 134 per 100,000, up from 107 per 100,000 the week before.

The council is advising schools in Islington to remain closed until after the Christmas break and to continue online learning until January 11.

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Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: “There is a serious and very worrying rise in coronavirus across London.

"We must all take action now to stop this deadly disease spreading serious illness and death to the people we love.

“Following public health advice, we are advising that schools close from the end of Tuesday and move to online learning, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

“This is a very difficult decision – however the public health situation in Islington and London is so serious that we have to do everything we can to stop this deadly virus spreading in our community and across London.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Number of hospitalised Islington patients still low - but expected to rise after ‘30-fold increase’ in cases

Cllr Watts added: “Throughout the pandemic our top priority has been to keep our residents safe and supported.  We are working closely with schools to give help and support they need in these very difficult times, including support with e-learning.

“We strongly support the Mayor of London’s calls that any further restrictions for London come with a package of support for Islington’s businesses and hard-working people."