Boris Johnson extends England's coronavirus lockdown into March

Boris Johnson extends England's coronavirus lockdown into March
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  • England's coronavirus lockdown extended for at least three more weeks.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is too early to end restrictions.
  • Schools will start to reopen from March 8 at the earliest.

England's coronavirus lockdown is set to be extended for at least three more weeks, with schools not reopening until the second week of March at the earliest, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Johnson told the House of Commons there was "not enough data" currently available to announce the end of restrictions in the country, but said the government would publish a review of restrictions on February 22, before potentially reopening schools from the week of March 8.

He said it would "not be possible" to reopen schools as early as the February half-term, due to the continuing high levels of infections in the country.
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However, he said the UK's successful coronavirus vaccine rollout programme could allow restrictions to begin to be relaxed from early March, with schools receiving at least two weeks notice before being asked to reopen.

"We hope it will therefore be safe to begin reopening schools from Monday 8th of March, with other economic and social restrictions removed thereafter as and when the data permits," he told members of Parliament.

Any relaxation of rules will be dependent on the UK meeting its vaccination targets of offering at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine to all of England's most vulnerable groups by February 15.
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People in England are currently banned under law from leaving the home for all but a small number of reasons, including essential work and buying food and medicine.

Johnson's announcement comes as the UK passed 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, one of the highest number of deaths per 1 million people of any country in the world.
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