Andrew Marr responded: “The reason I ask is that SAGE told you on the 22nd December that we couldn’t keep on top of this new variant while keeping schools open.”
The following day Marr’s scepticism was vindicated. In an address to the nation on coronavirus Boris Johnson announced that schools across England would be closed with immediate effect, saying that they are “vectors for transmission, causing the virus to spread between households.”
Johnson’s original claim that schools were safe was false. It is hard to believe that he did not know this: one day is an unusually short lifetime for any ministerial statement, even by him.