Boris Johnson said on Monday that the government are “looking at the potential of relaxing some” restrictions by mid-February.
The Prime Minister said, “We’re going to be looking at where we’ve got to on the 15th of February.
“Where, as you know, we hope to have vaccinated 15m people across the whole of the UK… We’re looking at the data and trying to work out when we’ll be able to lift restrictions.
“Schools obviously will be a priority but I don’t think anyone will want to see the restrictions lifted so quickly, whilst the rate of infection is still very high so as to lead to another great spread of infection.”
But Johnson said that “schools obviously will be a priority,” but he cannot guarantee that schools will reopen before Easter, and totally understands the “frustrations” parents have.
He said, “I don’t think anybody would want to see the restrictions lifted so quickly while the rate of infection is still very high so as to lead to another great spread of infection,” he says.
“We’ve now got the R down below 1 across the whole of the country, that’s a great achievement, we don’t want to see a huge surge of infection just when we’ve got the vaccination programme going so well and people working so hard.
“I understand why people want to get a timetable from me today, what I can tell you is we’ll tell you, tell parents, tell teachers as much as we can as soon as we can.”
He added, “I totally understand the frustrations of parents, I really thank teachers for what they’re doing, the immense efforts they’re going to to teach kids online, and the government has provided a lot of laptops… I know that’s no substitute for direct face-to-face learning.
“Believe me there’s nothing I want to do more than reopen schools, I’ve fought to keep schools open for as long as I possibly could.
“We want to see schools back as fast as possible, we want to do that in a way that is consistent with fighting the epidemic and keeping the infection rate down.”