PARENTS have been ordered to stop gossiping at the school gates or risk ruining the Covid recovery.
Schools minister Nick Gibb issued a stark warning for parents using the school drop off as an excuse to have a natter with other parents.
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But he insisted the rules hadn't been relaxed for parents to mix with others outside school, and ordered them to stay apart from other households when collecting their children from class.
People are only allowed to meet with one other person outside at the moment.
From March 29 people in England will be able to meet up as a group of six outside.
Mr Gibb told the Evening Standard yesterday: "“Parents need to be very careful of socially distancing.
“Hands, face, space – that’s still the rule for parents collecting their children from school.
“And they should take their children home. The roadmap doesn’t permit mixing of households at this stage.
“So we are saying that they just need to go straight home after school and keep socially distancing at the school gate as well.”
Mr Gibb also said he worried about people not socially distancing as people grow tired of the pandemic and lockdown rules, and begged people to stick to them for a little while longer.
Ministers are happy overall with the smooth return to school for millions of children this week.
All secondary school kids have to be tested first – and will be sent home if it's positive.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson last night welcomed the "happy scenes across the country".
He added "Early indications are that approximately 99 per cent of state-funded schools are open – with pupils returning to the classroom as planned.
“Being back in the classroom has huge benefits to pupils’ wellbeing, as well as their education.
"I am hugely grateful to schools and colleges for all the planning and preparation to make sure all students are able to return safely to the classroom.”
A No10 spokesperson said last night: "We're asking people to follow the social distancing guidelines.
"As you know, the rules changed from yesterday to allow for one on one meeting in outdoor spaces, for reasons other than exercise, for recreation.
"We are asking the public to continue to follow the guidance, and stay at home, the message with the limited exemptions to that. That's to make sure we continue to tackle the virus."
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