London Mayor calls for schools to close from Tuesday and open much later in New Year

He warned that moving London from Tier 2 into Tier 3 would have a ‘catastrophic’ economic impact on businesses and put ‘hundreds of thousands of livelihoods at stake’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is pushing for an urgent rethink on rules and testing in London after infection rates continue to rise.

According to The Daily Telegraph Khan is said to be pushing for the capital’s schools to close from Tuesday (December 15) with Monday being the last day for the term, four days earlier than scheduled and is also advocating the extension of the winter break by a week till January 11, the paper said.

Mr Khan called the rise in infections “deeply concerning” and warned that moving London to Tier 3 would have a “catastrophic” economic impact on businesses and put “hundreds of thousands of livelihoods at stake”.

The mayor wrote to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday, December 13, calling for an immediate increase in Covid-19 testing across London.

Mr Khan said: “The surge in coronavirus cases across our capital is deeply concerning.

“I am calling on the Government to urgently provide additional support to get the spread under control, save lives and livelihoods and ensure our NHS is not overwhelmed this winter.

“Increased testing is key to this, which is why I want to see regular asymptomatic testing extended to all those unable to work from home and to students and staff at London’s secondary schools, sixth-form college and FE (further education) colleges.”

Mr Khan said there had been “significant” coronavirus outbreaks among 10 to 19-year-olds in the capital, and that Government must consider asking schools and colleges to close early ahead of Christmas and reopen later in January.

He said all schools and colleges across London should be given “priority testing” from today and Tuesday.

In the latest data from the Press Association, which monitors the infection rate in England, all 32 boroughs saw increases in their infection rate in the 7 days up to December 6, with three boroughs firmly among the highest in the country.

PHE has placed London’s overall infection rate at 191.8 based on data collected November 30 to December 6, up from 158.1 in the previous week.

In Eastern England the rate has risen from 116.2 to 147.2, while in south-east England the rate has increased from 142.2 to 160.8.

All other regions of England recorded a week-on-week fall. with the South West seeing the lowest rate of 77.3, down from 91.2.

PHE use a range of factors to determine the infection rate in its weekly surveillance report.

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