Coronavirus: Staff shortage schools will be forced to close, ministers are warned

School leaders are holding on-going talks this week with the Department for Education (DfE) as pressure builds over the government’s refusal to close schools in the face of the coronavirus emergency.

The government has been warned that “it is likely” a number of schools will be forced to close anyway as more and more staff self-isolate.

In his now daily coronavirus briefing on Monday, prime minister Boris Johnson said that everyone in the UK should stop "non-essential" travel and contact with others, working from home where possible. However, he has still refused to close schools.

As of Tuesday morning (March 17), more than 1,550 people have tested positive for the virus in the UK, although experts estimate that the actual number of cases could be from 35,000 to 50,000. There have been 55 confirmed deaths.

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