THE UK will remain in a form of lockdown for at least another six weeks, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
Speaking to the House of Commons, Boris Johnson said the Government would set out plans in the week beginning February 22 for the “gradual and phased” route out of lockdown, but that schools are not likely to reopen until at least March 8.
Schools not returning in February
It is hoped it will be safe to begin the reopening of England’s schools from March 8.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told MPs it will not be possible to reopen schools “immediately after the February half term”.
He told the Commons: “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. But I know how frustrating that will be for pupils and teachers who want nothing more than to get back to the classroom.
“And for parents and for carers who spent so many months juggling their day jobs, not only with home schooling but meeting the myriad other demands of their children from breakfast until bedtime.”
New border restrictions
The Prime Minister told the Commons: “I want to make clear that under the stay at home regulations, it is illegal to leave home to travel abroad for leisure purposes and we will enforce this at ports and airports by asking people why they are leaving and instructing them to return home if they do not have a valid reason to travel.
“We have also banned all travel from 22 countries where there is a risk of known variants including South Africa, Portugal and South American nations.
“And in order to reduce the risk posed by UK nationals and residents returning home from these countries, I can announce that we will require all such arrivals who cannot be refused entry to isolate in Government provided accommodation, such as hotels, for 10 days without exception.
“They will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine. The Department of Health and Social Care is working to establish these facilities as quickly as possible.”