Schools will not reopen until March 8 at earliest, Boris Johnson warns

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Boris Johnson has said schools will not reopen "immediately after the February half-term".

He said that it is the government's ambition to reopen on March 8 – if vaccinations go to schedule.

The Prime Minister said the Government would set out plans in the week beginning February 22 for the “gradual and phased” route out of lockdown.

The PM said: "That plan will, of course, depend on the continued success of our vaccination programme, the capacity of the NHS and on deaths falling at the pace we would expect as more people are inoculated.

"Our aim will be to set out a gradual and phased approach towards easing the restrictions in a sustainable way, guided by the principles we have observed throughout the pandemic, beginning with the most important principle of all that reopening schools must be our national priority.

"The first sign of normality beginning to return should be pupils going back to their classrooms.

"I know how parents and teachers need as much certainty as possible, including two weeks notice of the return of face-to-face teaching.

"So I must inform the house that for the reasons I have outlined it will not be possible to reopen schools immediately after the February half-term."

He added: "We hope it will therefore be safe to begin the reopening of schools from Monday, March 8, with other economic and social restrictions being removed (then or) thereafter, as and when the data permits."

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