The Green Party is urging the government to introduce additional measures to protect schools which could save lives and avoid another lockdown in the coming months.
The Green Party Education Spokesperson Vix Lowthion said:
It is vital to stop transmission in schools by introducing effective protections to make them safer - such as masks in classrooms, adequate ventilation, a rota system and utilising outdoor and community spaces to allow social distancing as part of a phased return to school.
These protections are commonplace in European nations, and a phased return is what is happening in Scotland and Wales. This government's belief in English exceptionalism is incredibly dangerous.
If new, additional protections are not introduced then we could face exactly the same issues as we did in December, and a fourth lockdown in the coming months.
Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley added:
It is essential that Boris Johnson carefully follows the science as the nation comes out of our third lockdown. In the past the government has lifted restrictions too quickly, causing thousands of people to tragically lose their lives, many more than should have been the case.
The chancellor has a chance at the upcoming March budget to provide financial security for all those struggling to deal with the economic hardships the pandemic has brought. It is vital he acts with the interests of the most vulnerable at the centre of his attention.