Boris Johnson has dodged a Labour demand to vaccinate all teachers and school staff during February half-term to allow classrooms to reopen.
The demand came as Sir Keir Starmer went on the attack over the government’s record on coronavirus in the House of Commons, repeating his call for all arrivals at UK airports and ports to be subject to mandatory quarantine in hotels.
At the first prime minister’s questions since the UK passed the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, the Labour leader demanded an explanation from Mr Johnson for why Britain has the worst fatality rate in Europe.
He accused the prime minister of being “slow into the first lockdown last March, slow getting protective equipment to the frontline, slow to protect our care homes, slow on testing and tracing, slow into the second lockdown in the autumn,slow to change the Christmas mixing rules, slow again into this third lockdown”.
And he called on Mr Johnson to speed the return of schools in England by making plans to vaccinate every teacher and school staff member during the week-long half-term holiday beginning on 15 February.