Government planning for pupils to return to schools in March, PM confirms

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The government is planning for students in England to begin returning to classrooms from March 8, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the PM explained that it “would not be possible” to reopen schools after February half-term, but that the government was hoping pupils could go back the following month.

A return in March would depend on whether the four most vulnerable groups – care home residents and staff, frontline workers, Over 70s and the clinically vulnerable – are all vaccinated by February 15.

Before any reopening, schools will apparently receive two weeks’ notice.

An exit route from lockdown was also discussed in the Commons on Wednesday, with Johnson revealing he was set to publish a plan on February 22 looking at how to “take the UK out of” measures.

By this stage, the government anticipate having enough information on the effectiveness of vaccines to strategise for a “gradual and phased” reopening of the country.

Additionally, the PM revealed that quarantine hotels are set to go ahead as planned in the coming weeks – with all UK arrivals from countries with new coronavirus variants, who cannot be refused entry, (such as British citizens) required to isolate in government-provided accommodation for 10 days.

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