Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed that school bubbles in England will be scrapped from 19 July.
The roadmap out of lockdown will proceed to step four in less than two weeks’ time, and from this point onwards, students will only need to self-isolate if they test positive for the virus.
Addressing MPs in the House of Commons, Williamson stated: “Children are better off in classrooms with their friends and teachers”, claiming this was “hugely valuable for their wellbeing as well as their education”.
He added: “Key restrictions on education and childcare will come to an end as we move to step 4.”
Large numbers of pupils have been sent home from school due to COVID contact in recent weeks – with current rules stating that children must isolate if another pupil in their bubble tests positive for the virus.
Figures have revealed record numbers of pupil absences – with 5% of children in England not at school due to COVID-19.
The sharp rise in the number of absences in recent weeks has coincided with a rise in COVID cases as the Delta variant spreads across the UK.
Today’s update by the Education Secretary follows hot on the heels of Health Minister Sajid Javid’s statement that double-jabbed people and under-18s will no longer need to isolate from 16 August if they come into contact with someone with COVID.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday (5 July) that rules on wearing face masks, social distancing, and mass gatherings would also be changing from 19 July.
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