Monday, January 4, 2021 9:36 pm
British Prime Minsiter, Boris Johnson, has announced that England is to enter its third national lockdown, which means the government is instructing everyone to “stay at home”, and that all schools will close from tomorrow, the Independent reported.
The prime minister made the call in a televised address on Monday evening, in which he said the “weeks ahead will be hardest yet”.
“As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic,” he said.
The Independent reported further that it comes as government figures today revealed the UK “has reached another record daily high of 58,784 new coronavirus cases, making this the seventh consecutive day in a row there have been over 50,000 new Covid cases across Britain.”
“Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon announced earlier on Monday that Scotland would also enter a national lockdown, and that it was now law that all residents living on Scotland’s mainland must “stay home”.
Meanwhile, the first doses of the Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered. Just over half a million doses will be available from Monday, in what Matt Hancock, the health secretary, described as a “pivotal moment” in the UK’s fight against the coronavirus.”
Johnson: ‘Schools closed and exams cancelled’
On schools, Boris Johnson said in this evening’s address:
“Because we now have to do everything we possibly can to stop the spread of the disease, primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across England must move to remote provision from tomorrow, except for vulnerable children and the children of keyworkers.”
He added early years settings such as nurseries will still be accessible, and that due to all the changes – “it’s not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer, as normal”.
Mr Johnson said education secretary Gavin Williamson will work with regulator Ofqual to put in place “alternative arrangements”. It is thought students will receive A-Level and GCSE results in the same way as last year’s cohort, where grades were based on classroom attainment.
The PM added: “We will provide extra support to ensure that 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.”
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