London Mayor calls for schools to close early

Updated December 14, 2020

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IANS

London, Dec 14 (IANS) London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government to ask all secondary schools and colleges in the UK capital city to close early ahead of the Christmas holidays, the media reported on Monday.

In a statement, Khan said that he wanted the educational institutions to open later next month due to the "deeply concerning" unabated resurgence of new coronavirus cases in London, the BBC reported.

Covid-19 testing should be "urgently expanded" to students, the Mayor said, adding that he also wanted regular asymptomatic testing to be extended to everyone who cannot work form home.

In his statement, Khan also urged for the mandatory wearing of face masks in outdoor places, "given the numbers on our high streets in the run-up to Christmas".

"The rollout of the vaccine has provided some light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel, but this is no time to be complacent and we cannot let so many months of compromise and sacrifice go to waste.

"Time is running out to get the virus under control in our city which is why I urge the government to heed my call and provide us with the extra support we desperately need.

"Londoners always work together - and together our city will get through the winter and can look forward to better times ahead," the BBC quoted the Mayor as saying.

In the last 24 hours, London registered 4,166 new coronavirus cases, raising the capital city's overall infection tally to 201,243.

As of Monday, the UK's overall Covid-19 caseload and death toll stood at 1,854,490 and 64,267, respectively.

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