Schools will stay shut until February half-term as part of national lockdown

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England's schools will remain shut until at least the February half term as a result of the national lockdown announced tonight – although nurseries will remain open.

Boris Johnson has confirmed that schools will be shut for the majority of pupils in England throughout the new lockdown, but will stay open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable kids.

When these lockdown measures are lifted – with mid-February currently the first review point – efforts will focus on opening schools as quickly as possible.

The government is hoping to supply free school meals for all children who currently receive them during this lockdown, but is still working out logistics behind this.

PE lessons will still go ahead for the few children still attending schools because they are vulnerable or because their parents are key workers.

Mr Johnson admitted that talks will now have to go ahead between the Department for Education and Ofqual about how GCSE and A-Levels will be handled next year.

The current rules around childcare and support bubbles, that allow parents of younger children and those living alone to mix with one other household, will remain as they currently are.

Children of divorced parents will also be allowed to mix households with each parent despite the new lockdown.

  • Coronavirus national lockdown coming warns Boris Johnson as 'tough' weeks ahead

Earlier today Wales confirmed all schools there will be closed until at least January 18.

And in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed earlier today that no schools will open in January.

Speaking on Monday lunchtime, a No10 spokesman said: "The spread of the new variant of Covid-19 has led to rapidly escalating case numbers across the country.

"The Prime Minister is clear that further steps must now be taken to arrest this rise and to protect the NHS and save lives."

  • Boris Johnson
  • NHS
  • Lockdown
  • Coronavirus

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