Trudy Dean and Rob Bird demand immediate action to stem the spread of the new strain of the Covid-19 virus.
It makes no sense to close schools in London which is in tier 4, but to keep them open in other tier 4 areas including parts of Kent.
The Imperial College study of the new strain of the virus, UK B117, shows that it is hugely more infectious. It also shows that cases are highest in children and young people from birth to 19 years right now.
We know that children are unlikely to suffer serious effects from the virus. But we also know that in recent weeks, despite lockdown, Kent school children have been bringing the infection from school back into their homes. This has led to cases rocketing, filling our hospitals with older and more vulnerable patients, many more of whom will die.
Infections rose throughout Kent during the recent lockdown when schools were open. The have now begun to fall have in parts of Kent in recent days, suggesting a possible link to school closures for the Christmas holidays.
What has happened in the south east will continue to spread to the rest of the country.
This is a no brainer. All schools must close countrywide to contain the new strain as much as possible, and to allow vaccination programmes to give health workers, key workers, teachers, the elderly and most vulnerable the essential protection they must have. That is likely to take two months.
Yes, Education is precious. But life is more so.
Trudy Dean is the Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson at Kent County Council
Rob Bird is Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Kent County Council
The full report by Imperial College can be found here.
If you have any views on this, please complete our survey by clicking here.