British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Sunday that more onerous lockdown restrictions in England are likely as the country reels from a new coronavirus variant that has pushed infection rates to their highest recorded levels.
Johnson, though, insisted he has “no doubt” that schools are safe and urged parents to send their children back into the classroom in areas of England where they can.
Unions representing teachers have called for schools to turn to remote learning for at least a couple of weeks more due to the new variant, which scientists have said is up to 70% more contagious.
The U.K. is in the midst of an acute outbreak, recording more than 50,000 new coronavirus infections a day over the past five days. On Saturday, it notched a daily record of 57,725 new cases. The country has seen nearly 75,000 virus-related deaths.
“We are entirely reconciled to do what it takes to get the virus under control, that may involve tougher measures in the weeks ahead,” Johnson said in an interview with the BBC.
In some parts of the British capital and its surrounding areas, there are around 1,000 cases per 100,000 people.