(London) Children returned to school in England on Tuesday, a resurgence that authorities, fearing increased pollution and a shortage of teachers, called on retired teachers to come for reinforcements.
To avoid the spread of the coronavirus, middle and high school students in their institutions in England are being tested on Tuesday and must wear masks in class.
In Northern Ireland, they are urged to take this test at home, with each British country making a decision on its own health measures.
“Face-to-face teaching will continue to be the expected norm,” Education Minister Nadim al-Zahawi said on Twitter.
The significant increase in coronavirus cases associated with the highly contagious Omicron variant is reflected in the dysfunctional absenteeism in many sectors.
Tuesday, the first working day of the year, the day after a public holiday that extended to the school holidays, staff shortages disrupted the rail network.
In terms of health services, at least six hospitals have been declared “critical incidents” by the NHS, which means the situation could affect priority care.
“If the NHS is affected, if retail is affected, if sporting events are affected, it’s hard to see why schools and colleges wouldn’t have the same understaffing issues,” said Jeff Barton, general secretary of the Schools Association. and college leaders.
The UK is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic with nearly 149,000 deaths from the pandemic. The country is facing an explosion in pollution (nearly 158,000 cases were reported in England and Scotland on Monday) attributed to Omicron.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that the pressure on public health services and hospitals would be “significant over the next two weeks, possibly more”.
However, for now, he has ruled out imposing new restrictions in addition to working remotely and wearing the mask already in place, relying on screening and a massive marathon campaign to promote the vaccine which, he says, has made it possible to give an extra dose in 76% of adults.
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