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Key points: Schools Shut Till March

Posted on January 2021 By Jamie Southwell

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After appearing in the House of Commons earlier today, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was presenting tonight's Downing Street briefing. Alongside him were the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, and England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathon Van-Tam.

Key points from the conference:

  • Boris Johnson shares 'frustration' with parents, teachers, and pupils after announcing the closure of schools till March 8th earlier in the House of Commons.

  • "I know that everybody across the country wants us to get schools open as fast as possible" says Johnson.

  • There were a reported 25,308 positive cases today and 1,725 deaths. Bringing the total number of cases to 3,175,054 and deaths to 101,887.

  • Schools will need two weeks notice to reopen and will not be able to do so immediately after half term on February 22nd reiterates the Prime Ministers.

  • Government extends support to children who require free school meals, through food parcels and national voucher scheme.

  • Further £300 million catch up fund to schools in next financial year allocated to assisting pupil's who fell behind during the pandemic 'at no fault of their own'. Johnson says the Government will work with parents, teachers, and schools to ensure students will receive the educational guidance.

  • "With every jab that goes in, we are becoming more confident' says Boris Johnson as the Government is still on track to hitting target of first dose to top 4 priority groups by end of February.

  • Sir Patrick begins speaking by stating there are one million people in the country with the virus and that is "roughly one in 55 people."

  • In response to a question asked about whether ​vulnerable children will receive the vaccine, Jonathon Van-Tam replies those under 16 who are clinically extreme risk should discuss with their physician about the benefits to children receiving the vaccination and proceed from there based on the decisions of the individual.

  • Still a while away from clinical trial data for vaccines authorised on children being used adds the Chief Medical Officer.

To read the key points from previous government coronavirus conferences click here