The Prime Minister made a live announcement to the nation this evening (January 4), setting out further lockdown restrictions.
In the announcement, the PM outlined rules of a third national lockdown, with ‘stay at home’ rules to become law from Wednesday, (January 6).
Similarly to the March lockdown, people may only leave their homes for essential purposes, including shopping for essential items, working if you cannot work from home, and seeking medical assistance amongst other reasons.
Schools will also close and will move to remote learning from tomorrow, and will be implemented until February half term.
Early years and nurseries will remain open, however.
This means that secondary schools, colleges and universities will be moved to remote learning, and will not undertake face-to-face teaching.
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In today’s announcement, Boris Johnson acknowledged the difficulties pupils in exam-years – like years 11 and 13, will face.
During his live announcement, Boris Johnson said: “Primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across England must move to remote provision from tomorrow, expect from vulnerable children and children of key workers.
“Everyone will still be able to access early years settings such as nurseries.
“We recognise that this will mean it is not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer as normal.
“The education secretary will work with Ofqual to put in place alternative arrangements.
“We will provide extra support to pupils entitled to free school meals will continue to receive them while schools are closed, and we will distribute more devices to support remote education.
“Parents who have children in school today question why children were in school today may ask why we have not made this decision sooner.
“The answer is simply is that we have been doing everything in our power to keep schools open because we know how important each day in education is to children’s life chances.
This comes after the Conservative leader faced criticism from teaching unions and opposition parties over schools remaining open during the pandemic.
Many people argued that the decision to close schools should have been taken sooner to avoid the sharp rise in infections.
The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will be meeting with Ofqual officials to discuss further details of examinations.