London's Islington Council tells schools to close from tomorrow ahead of Tier 3 decision

14 December 2020, 12:12 | Updated: 14 December 2020, 12:32

Boarded up shops on Islington High Street as the council announced the closure of all schools
Boarded up shops on Islington High Street as the council announced the closure of all schools. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

London's Islington Council has advised schools to close from the end of tomorrow and move to online learning as the capital sees a significant rise in coronavirus cases.

A decision is expected to be made later today on whether London will go into Tier 3.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is making a statement to the Commons at 3.30pm.

The council said in a statement: "The council is advising schools in Islington to move to online learning from the end of Tuesday to reduce people mixing and stop the virus spreading. The council has also asked schools to be open for onsite learning to children of key workers, and vulnerable children."

READ MORE: London Tier 3 decision could come today as capital faces 'exponential’ covid growth

Schools in Islington are also advised to remain closed after the Christmas break and continue online learning until January 11.

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: "There is a serious and very worrying rise in coronavirus across London, with cases doubling every few days.

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

Yesterday it emerged schools in Greenwich would close early.

They shut their doors from today after the council was warned of an "exponential growth" in coronavirus cases which "demands immediate action."

The latest data shows there were 715 new coronavirus cases recorded in the south east London borough in the seven days to December 9 - the equivalent of 248.3 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from a rate of 158.0 in the seven days to December 2.

Essex County Council also issued an update on schools today. The council said in a statement: "As of today 8 of the 9 Basildon secondary schools are operating a full remote education offer. 

“17 primary schools, out of 48 in the Basildon district, have now moved to a full remote education offer.

“No school is closed, all the schools are offering a full or partial remote education offer.

"Even though a school might be offering a fully remote education offer, they will still be open for on-site teaching for vulnerable children and those of essential workers.”

London is facing being put into Tier 3 this afternoon.

Mayor Sadiq Khan told LBC on Monday morning: "Covid-O, the government subcommittee is meeting now, there could be a statement later today... I understand they could be making an announcement soon... it's a government decision."