Christmas parties and school nativity should still go ahead, the prime minister has said.
Boris Johnson said in a press conference on Wednesday that despite the introduction of new restrictions in England to help control the spread of the Omicron version, the government was not suggesting that children drop out of school before the holidays. must go, or the play should be cancelled.
He said the Plan B measures – which include guidance on work from home and face coverings for most indoor locations – do not amount to a lockdown.
Mr Johnson said: “At Christmas, the best way to make sure we have Christmas as close as possible is to move forward with Plan B – it can be upsetting, it’s not a lockdown, it’s Plan B is, this is what we laid out a while back – and to get your booster and get your jab.”
He said that he is of the view that festive parties and birth plays should not be cancelled.
“They should of course follow the guidance, but we’re not saying we want kids to be out of school before the end of term – it’s not like that’s too long now – and we don’t Want the birth dramas to be cancelled,” Mr Johnson said.
“We think that’s right at present on what we can see to go with Christmas parties, but obviously everyone should take precautions, have ventilation, wash their hands, do a test before leaving.” Should do – (it is) a sensible thing to make everyone else in the party believe that they are going to meet someone who is not contagious.”
We don’t want birth plays canceled
Last year, the pandemic and rising infection rates forced companies and schools across the country to cancel Christmas parties and nativity.
Speaking at the launch of Offstead’s annual report on Tuesday, Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman was asked about the disruption to schools over this period.
She said: “I’m pretty sure any teacher would close schools or cancel Christmas events and nativity with a very heavy heart.
“But I would say that children have lost so much in the last 20 months that as far as possible we want them to enjoy the experience and routine of school life as much as possible in the current environment.”
Education Secretary Nadim Zhawi earlier this month vowed to do “everything in my power” to keep schools open amid concerns over the new version, and advised schools to hold Christmas events for Christmas.
Health Minister Edward Arger has previously said the government was not asking schools to cancel plays, and principals were expected to “make their own decisions”.
He said: “The head teacher will make his own decision. They know their schools, they know their campus, they know their parents and students.
“What we are saying is that people should be as sensible as ever.”
James Bowen, policy director for the NAHT, a union of school leaders, said he expects this year to be the last for the restrictions.
He said: “Schools need nothing more than halls full of families enjoying children in their festive shows.
“However, schools have a lot of things to balance when deciding what to do this year. They are dealing with concerns about the impact of the new version, advice from their local authorities and the central government, and parents. -A wide range of fathers’ opinions – They are really stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“Schools will listen carefully to advice being given by public health teams and local authorities and take appropriate measures based on that advice. Where this means parents are unable to participate, we already know that many schools are already exploring other options to give families some form of an ‘innate experience’.”