Sajid Javid says school bubbles WILL end on July 19 in major boost for pupils and parents

SAJID Javid has said school bubbles will end on July 19, giving a major boost to pupils and parents.

The announcement came as something of a surprise as Boris Johnson and previously suggested the change would not be made until September and rumours had indicated a decision would not be made until later this week.

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Sajid Javid said the Government intends to scrap school bubbles on July 19Credit: PA

School bubbles are expected to end on freedom day, July 19

School bubbles are expected to end on freedom day, July 19Credit: Getty

The Health Secretary, 51, though told MPs: “That on July 19 it is our plan to remove bubbles and to end the requirement for early years settings, schools and colleges to routinely carry out contact tracing”.

Mr Johnson had confirmed the policy would be ditched but did not give a firm date as to when this would happen.

He set out the Government’s intention to “remove bubbles and contact isolation for pupils” as fears have risen about the number of ids being forced to stay at home.

Just last week the Prime Minister indicated the shift away from “bubbles” would not be immediate as she said the summer holiday could work as a “natural firebreak”.

Boris Johnson had previously indicated school bubbles would end in September

Boris Johnson had previously indicated school bubbles would end in SeptemberCredit: AFP

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is set to unveil the Government’s plans for protecting pupils tomorrow.

Backbench Tory MPs have called for the Government to drop school bubbles as soon as possible, even that was “for the last few days of term”.

Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: “We are looking to move to a different regime for fully-vaccinated contacts of those testing positive and also for children.

“And tomorrow the Education Secretary will announce our plans to maintain key protections but remove bubbles and contact isolation for pupils.”

While the Prime Minister was speaking Mr Javid told the Commons: “The Education Secretary will be saying more later this week but I can confirm to my honourable friend that on July 19 it is our plan to remove bubbles and to end the requirement for early years settings, schools and colleges to routinely carry out contact tracing and I will have more to say on how we intend to exempt under-18s who are close contacts from the requirement to self-isolate.”

Pupils are expected to take lateral flow tests for Covid instead of self-isolating

Pupils are expected to take lateral flow tests for Covid instead of self-isolatingCredit: AFP

Many schools are due to break up just days after ‘freedom day’ – July 19 – marking the final stage in the lifting of Covid restrictions.

Should the decision be made to ditch the school bubbles immediately, teachers will have to adapt quickly to the new rulings for the last few days of term.

Under the current rules pupils have to self-isolate for 10 days if another pupil in their bubble tests positive for the Covid-19 virus.

In some cases this has meant that entire year groups have been sent home following an outbreak at a school.

Figures show that last week 375,000 pupils were self-isolating at home, a four-fold rise from two weeks ago.

The school bubble system is expected to be replaced by daily testing.

Mr Johnson said last week that he understood the frustrations of parents and teachers over the policy but urged them to be patient.

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.”

Sajid Javid says ‘there’s no going back’ once lockdown restrictions are lifted

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