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Islington Council advises schools to close and move to online learning

Islington Council has advised schools to move to online learning from the end of Tuesday (Dec 15) because of a serious rise in coronavirus cases across London.Coronavirus is spreading very fast in London, and the more people mix, the easier it is for the virus to spread and take hold.  The virus can be devastating for people of all ages, with older residents especially at risk of serious illness or death. The council is advising schools in Islington to move to online learning from the end of Tuesday to reduce people mixing and stop the virus spreading. The council has also asked schools to be open for onsite learning to children of key workers, and vulnerable children. The council will be supporting learning with paper learning packs, online resources and digital devices.

The council will also be making sure that Free School Meal-eligible children will receive additional vouchers to cover the extra days outside of school.
Schools in Islington are also advised to remain closed after the Christmas break and continue online learning until January 11.

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: “There is a serious and very worrying rise in coronavirus across London, with cases doubling every few days.  We must all take action now to stop this deadly disease spreading serious illness and death to the people we love.

“Following public health advice, we are advising that schools close from the end of Tuesday and move to online learning, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children.
“This is a very difficult decision – however the public health situation in Islington and London is so serious that we have to do everything we can to stop this deadly virus spreading in our community and across London.

“Throughout the pandemic our top priority has been to keep our residents safe and supported.  We are working closely with schools to give help and support they need in these very difficult times, including support with e-learning.”
Cllr Watts added: “We strongly support the Mayor of London’s calls that any further restrictions for London come with a package of support for Islington’s businesses and hard-working people.”

We can all help stop the virus spreading, and protect our loved ones.

Please stay at home as much as possible to help stop the virus spreading.  Avoid crowded spaces, including buses and trains, if you can, as the virus spreads more easily when people mix.  Travel or shop at less busy times.
Make space – stay 2 metres apart from people who aren’t in your family or bubble - this helps stop the virus spreading between people
Wash your hands - regularly and for at least 20 seconds, especially when you get home– this washes any virus off your hands and helps stop it spreading
Cover your nose and mouthto stop the virus spreading - in public places, including in shops, on public transport and at the school gates
Know the symptoms of Covid - a high temperature, or a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste and get tested if you have any of the three symptoms
Testing is quick, easy and free – Islington has two testing sites, which the council made sure were opened to help our residents.  Getting a test is free and simple – nhs,uk/coronavirus or call 119  
We can support you if you have to self-isolate: phone 020 7527 8222 to find out how – help with emergency food deliveries, shopping, financial support, benefits.

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