Schools to re-open on March 8 as part of Prime Minister's roadmap out of lockdown

By Graham Hill

21st Feb 2021 | Local News

All schools in England will re-open to all pupils on March 8 under the Prime Minister's roadmap out of lockdown to be announced on Monday - with outdoor after-school sports and activities also allowed to restart.

And on the same date, outdoor recreation with one other person will also be permitted, meaning people will be allowed to sit together in a park with a coffee, drink or picnic.

Sky News reports that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to address the House of Commons at 3.30pm and lead a Downing Street news conference at 7pm.

From March 29, larger groups will be able to meet outside - including in private gardens - up to a maximum of six people or two households.

Tennis courts, golf courses and other outdoor sport facilities will also re-open on March 29, which is the first Monday of most schools' Easter holidays.

At the same time, organised adults and children's sport, including grassroots football, will restart.

The relaxation of measures is the first stage of a four-part roadmap expected to include the reopening of non-essential retail and hospitality in the coming months.

MPs will vote on the regulations in the coming weeks.

The Prime Minister is expected to stress that, to progress to each stage, four tests must be passed:

  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

In a statement ahead of the announcement, Mr Johnson said: "Our priority has always been getting children back into school which we know is crucial for their education as well as their mental and physical wellbeing, and we will also be prioritising ways for people to reunite with loved ones safely.

"Our decisions will be made on the latest data at every step, and we will be cautious about this approach so that we do not undo the progress we have achieved so far and the sacrifices each and every one of you has made to keep yourself and others safe."

     

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