A petition asking the government to consider closing schools to contain the spread of Coronavirus has gained over 187,000 signatures, enough to prompt a debate in Parliament.
The petition, has now surpassed the 100,000 required amount of signees to trigger a debate about the issue in parliament.
Within the petition it states: “We would like the government to at least consider closing schools/colleges down in the coming weeks or as soon as possible, in addition to taking necessary actions to prevent further spread.
“We would like the government or Parliament to enforce this action due to the growing fear among parents and students that attend school.
“The ability to focus or concentrate is affected in addition to the growing fears of the Coronavirus.
“In our view, the government and health officials around the world are more ‘reactive’ rather than ‘proactive’. This will result in more spread as time is given for the virus to do so. We hope to come to an agreement as soon as possible in a timely manner.”
In response to the petition, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We understand the concern being expressed by parents who are supporting this petition. However, it is important that we trust the advice of the public health authorities in any decision over school closures.
“This is a rapidly developing situation and schools will respond accordingly to the guidance that is issued.”
Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has said that UK is “very close” to a seven-day self-isolation for anyone with “even minor respiratory tract infections or a fever”,
Professor Whitty said that the UK will reach that stage “probably within the next 10-14 days”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today said the UK is still in the “contain” phase of the response to coronavirus but that “we are making extensive preparations for a move to the delay phase”. Five people have now died due to Coronavirus in the UK.
Italy has now confirmed that it will shut all schools from for 10 days as it continues to contain the coronavirus.