Boris Johnson Announces Schools Are Set To Reopen On 8 March
Boris Johnson has announced plans to get schools reopened by 8 March.
The Prime Minister addressed MPs in the House of Commons, explaining that there is a clear plan despite it no longer being possible for schools to reopen immediately after the February half term, as originally hoped.
Johnson gave very little detail on the plans to get schoolchildren back in the classroom, but he did say that the decision would be taken depending on vaccination targets being met.
Addressing the Commons, the PM said: "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.
"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 with meeting the myriad other demands of their children from breakfast until bedtime.
"And I know too the worries we all share about the mental health of our young people during this prolonged period of being stuck at home.
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"So our plan for leaving the lockdown will set out our approach towards re-opening schools.
"If we achieve our target of vaccinating everyone in the four most vulnerable groups with their first dose by 15 February - and every passing day sees more progress towards that goal - then those groups will have developed immunity from the virus by about three weeks later, that is by 8 March.
"We hope it will therefore be safe to commence the reopening of schools from Monday 8 March, with other economic and social restrictions being removed thereafter as and when the data permits - then or thereafter, I should say."
As well as outlining the plans for schools, Johnson also announced that some people travelling into England will have to spend time at 'quarantine hotels' in response to the concerns about new Covid variants.
He explained: "We've already temporarily closed all travel corridors and we're already requiring anyone coming into this country to have proof of a negative Covid test taken in the 72 hours before leaving, they must also complete a passenger locator form which must be checked before they board and then quarantine on arrival for ten days.
"I want to make clear 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 to if they do not have a valid reason.
"We have also banned all travel from 22 countries where there is 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 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."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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