Schools to close as coronavirus figures in North Somerset rise
PUBLISHED: 12:50 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:50 19 March 2020
Schools across North Somerset will close from tommorrow (Friday) until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement last night (Wednesday) in a bid to slow down the spread of the virus.
Some schools will be kept open with a skeleton staff to provide support for the children of key workers – such as NHS staff, police and delivery drivers – and vulnerabe pupils.
The Government is also asking nurseries and private schools to close, and will provide financial support if needed.
GCSEs and A-levels in England and Wales will also be cancelled – although there are plans for students to receive the qualifications they need, Mr Johnson said.
He urged parents not to leave children in the care of grandparents or older relatives who are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus.
Meals and vouchers will be provided for pupils who currently receive free school lunches.
Closing schools is the latest in a string of measures to try to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Another case of the virus was recorded in North Somerset yesterday, bringing the total number up to four.
They were among the 117 cases recorded across the South West, a figure which rose by 22 over the 24-hour period.
Across the UK, 2,626 people had tested positive for coronavirus as of 9am yesterday, up from 1,950 at the same point on Tuesday, Department of Health and Social Care figures show.
In total, 56,221 people had been tested, and 103 had died.
As the Government is no longer testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms, many cases may now not be detected.