Published: 14:14, 03 March 2021
| Updated: 15:50, 03 March 2021
Kent Police has written to schools in the Tonbridge area urging them to ensure children do not breach Covid restrictions when they return to school next week.
A letter has been sent to schools to distribute to parents to remind them that the current restrictions remain in place and to encourage children not to mingle with their friends before or after lessons.
The letter says: “We are looking forward to seeing our young children return to schools as this has been a very difficult time for them and wish them all well.”
"We do ask that children are reminded of the current Covid guidance when they are travelling to and from homes.
"Please encourage them to make their way straight to school and not meet beforehand with their friends in public.
“At the end of the school day the warmer weather will undoubtedly entice children into parks and other public areas.
“However it is important again to remember the rules only allow one person from another household at a safe distance outside and only as part of daily exercise.
“During the next few weeks our officers will be out in several locations for reassurance purposes and to ensure the safety of children and other people.”
Kent Police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott said writing the letter was the sensible thing to do.
“The action the force has taken to communicate with parents is a responsible thing to do; better to do it ahead of time rather than after the event.
"The force has a good policy of engaging with young people; I hope they will listen and that parents and schools will, too and that infection rates will continue to drop,” he said.
He added that he understood that it has been hard for children under lockdown to be prevented from seeing their friends but “we have got to guard against potential problems when schools return” and Kent Police would help and offer advice when needed.
A police spokesman confirmed the letter was not directly issued to parent or carers, but has been sent so far, to schools in the Tonbridge area to disseminate.