ALL SCHOOLS across England will now be closed until at least February half-term as part of the England-wide lockdown.
The only students able to attend will be vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers, as with the first lockdown in March.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking tonight, said nurseries and early years settings could remain open.
And he admitted exams would not be able to go ahead as planned, adding an announcement would be made in due course.
The PM warned the steep increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths was so severe it could see the NHS become completely overwhelmed within 21 days.
He said the vaccine had brought some hope and by mid-February everyone in the four priority groups in England should be vaccinated.
Among them were all residents in care homes, along with their carers, everyone over the age of 70, all frontline health and social care workers and everyone is vulnerable and therefore at risk from the virus.
He said even after vaccination there was a time lag of two to three weeks until people were protected.
Mr Johnson said, if deaths started to fall, restrictions could be relaxed and schools would reopen after February half-term, which would be around February 22.
Mr Johnson concluded by urging everyone to play their part by ‘staying at home’, ‘protecting the NHS’ and in the process ‘saving lives’.
This will be the third England-wide lockdown after the one in March and the second from November to December last year.
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