Schools in Scotland and Wales will be closed due to the coronavirus at the end of the week and until the end of the school year, regional leaders have said.
There have been no announcements of school closures in England. Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs that the government does not plan to close English schools yet.
“The number of working staff in schools has been greatly reduced (due to self-isolation on suspicion of infection with coronavirus) in order to continue working normally. I would like to assure teachers and school staff that the government is doing everything that is necessary. Schools will close from Friday, people should not expect them to open before the end of the school year,” said Scotland’s first Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
In Wales, the region’s education Minister, Kirsty Williams, announced the impending closure of schools. She clarified that the premises of schools will be given to the disposal of doctors and services fighting the spread of the coronavirus.
“Today’s decision will help ensure an orderly closure, and schools will have time to prepare. Starting next week, schools will have a different purpose. They will help support those who need help most, including those involved in the fight against coronavirus,” the Minister said in a statement.
Pre-schools in Wales will remain open until further notice, she said.