In response to the surging number of Covid-19 cases in the area, all schools in one London borough will shut down from Monday evening.
The move was declared by the Royal Borough of Greenwich in the southeast of the city as the local coronavirus situation “escalating extremely quickly”
For the rest of the year, pupils will be taught online from Tuesday, with schools staying open for Monday classes.
The Leader of Greenwich Borough Council insisted in a letter to families in the borough that virtual classroom teaching is not an opportunity to prolong Christmas celebrations.
An open letter written by Cllr Danny Thorpe reads: “I am writing this open letter to let you know that the situation in Greenwich is now growing extremely rapidly in relation to Covid19 and I have been told today by Public Health England colleagues that the Greenwich pandemic is now showing signs that we are in a time of exponential growth that needs urgent action.”
“We also have the highest rates of infection in Greenwich than at any time throughout March, and for these reasons, I have however asked all schools in Greenwich to close their premises from Monday evening and move to online learning for the duration of the period, with exception of key worker children as well as those with specific needs (exactly the same as in the first lockdown).”
With about 200 cases per 100,000 people now registered, infection rates in the Royal Borough have surpassed the national average.
Cases in the south-east London borough rose from 144.5 to 189.3 per 100,000 in the first week of December, LBC records.
Schools in Greenwich is set to close on Thursday for Christmas, but lessons would be shifted online from Tuesday until then.
Cllr Thorpe apologized for the inconvenience to parents, adding that those eligible for free school meals would receive over 8,000 breakfast boxes from the council.
The new data released by the Office for National Statistics reveal that the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in London is reported to have risen relative to the rest of England.
The mayor of the capital, Sadiq Khan, called on those living and working in the city to wear masks and maintain the recommended two-meter gap between others, as he said that working together to tackle the spread of infection was “vital”