Boris Johnson resists calls to scrap school bubbles now and tells frustrated parents to be ‘patient’

BORIS Johnson has faced down demands to bin classroom bubbles immediately – and asked exasperated parents to stay "patient".

The PM is under mounting pressure to axe the hated isolation policy without delay after ministers confirmed it would be swapped with testing.

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Nearly 50 Tory MPs have signed a letter branding the current system – where entire classes are forced to isolate if one pupil tests positive – "unsustainable" and "disproportionate".

On a trip to the Nissan plant in Sunderland, Mr Johnson acknowledged their "frustration" but urged them to wait for the ongoing Public Health England review into favouring testing for isolation.

He said: "They haven't concluded yet so what I want to do is just to be cautious as we go forward to that natural firebreak of the summer holidays when the risk in schools will greatly diminish and just ask people to be a little bit patient."

His warning came as:

  • The PM braced Brits to live with "extra precautions" in the future
  • Ministers unveiled plans for Covid booster jabs in the autumn
  • Mr Johnson said double jabs would be the "liberator" for holidays

Bubbles are proving a nightmare for parents forced to scramble childcare at short notice.

MPs are also warning of the damaging impact days of missed teaching time is having on children.

Government data reveals that 279,000 children in England are currently isolating because of possible contact with a Covid-19 case.

Commons Education committee chair Rob Halfon said: "We are in danger of creating a generation of ghost children denied a proper chance to climb the education ladder of opportunity."

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson yesterday suggested the bubbles would be axed on July 19 Freedom Day – but not before.

Baffled critics furiously pointed out this was after most schools had broken up for the summer holidays and demanded this be sped up.

The letter from MPs – including former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith – says: "

This will send an important signal ahead of the autumn that the route to freedom is a 'one-way road' and genuinely 'irreversible'," the letter said.

It said pupils have suffered "unnecessary and significant disruptions" to their schooling during the pandemic in order to keep the rest of the country safe.

"They have lost physical fitness, suffered mental health damage, and experienced catastrophic learning loss," it said.

"Children need normality, security and certainty. If we are to have a hope of levelling up and building back better, we must restore children's school lives to normal so they can recover their health, wellbeing, education and their futures."

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