The Prime Minister has announced this afternoon that schools will not reopen immediately after the February half term and Coronavirus restrictions will likely last until March 8

As the third lockdown was announced at the beginning of January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed that schools could reopen after February half term.

In a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon, setting out the latest developments in the Covid-19 response, he said that schools and non-essential businesses will remain schools until at least March 8: "I know everyone yearns to know how much longer we must endure these restrictions.

"We will not persist for a day longer than is necessary but nor will we relax to soon. Our efforts appear to have reduced the R-rate but we do not yet have enough data to know how soon it will be safe to reopen our society and economy.

He added that it is not yet known how quickly Covid-19 vaccinations will take effect and reduce the number of hospitalisations.

"What we do know is that we are in a perilous situation."

"The overall picture will be much clearer by mid-February."

He added that when Parliament returns from recess on the 21st of February, the Government will publish their plan for taking the country out of lockdown.