The education secretary Gavin Williamson said he could not give parents a date when schools will reopen.
Speaking at the Government's daily briefing, he said he 'wants nothing more than to see schools back' but said it would not be happening soon.
He said: "People are anxious to know when we're going to relax restrictions, when schools are likely to be fully back and open again," Williamson says.
"Of course, I want nothing more than to see schools back, get them back to normal, make sure the children are sat around, learning, and experiencing the joy of being at school.
"But I can't give you a date. Because before we do, we need to meet five tests."
He outlined those five steps as follows:
1. The NHS must be able to effectively care and sustain those who are seriously ill.
2. Experts need to see daily death rates going down.
3. Reliable data must show that the rate of infection is increasing to manageable levels.
4. Authorities must be confident that testing capacity and PPE is being managed, with supply being able to meet future demand.
5. The government must be confident that changes we do make don't risk a second peak of infection.
Mr Williamson continued: "On any normal Sunday afternoon, many of you would have been out with family and friends enjoying the sunshine. And tomorrow, many children would be going to school after a two week break.
"But these are not normal times and we are asking you to stay at home."
Mr Williamson also said the Government was 'enormously grateful' to children and young people for their cooperation.
He said: "I know how hard it must be. I know you will be missing your friends, your teachers and your lessons.
"To any young people watching: I wanted to say to you that how sorry I am that you've had your education disrupted in this way. You're such an important part of this fight too and I cannot thank you enough for what you're doing."
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