Schools across the Royal Borough of Greenwich in southeast London are being forced to close from the end of day on Monday and move classes online, amid an “exponential growth” of the pandemic.
In an open letter published on Sunday evening, the leader of the council Danny Thorpe warned that “the situation in in relation to is now escalating extremely quickly”.
“I have today been briefed by colleagues from Public Health England that the pandemic in Greenwich is now showing signs that we are in a period of exponential growth that demands immediate action,” Mr Thorpe continued.
He said Greenwich is seeing the highest rates of infection than at any time since March.
For these reasons I have therefore asked all schools in Greenwich to close their premises from Monday evening and move to online learning for the duration of the term,” Mr Thorpe added.
As in the first lockdown, exceptions will remain for the children of key workers and those with specific needs, he said.
In another letter to families, Mr Thorpe stressed: “It is absolutely essential that everyone understands this is NOT an opportunity to extend Christmas celebrations in any way, and I’m asking for this to happen to reduce the risk of transmission.”