Prime Minister announces ALL schools will close this Friday

Many schools in Northamptonshire had already implemented a partial closure

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 5:54 pm

Boris Johnson has announced that all schools will close on Friday as the coronavirus pandemic escalates.

The Government was reluctant to implement the compulsory school closure due to the knock-on effect it will have on the workforce, but Johnson said ‘now is the right moment’.

In his press conference in Downing Street today (March 18) the Prime Minister said: "So far the advice has been that we keep schools open in order to reduce pressure on the NHS.

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Boris Johnson made the announcement during his latest daily press conference. Photo: Getty Images.

“I can announce today that after schools shut their gates from Friday afternoon they will remain closed for the vast majority of pupils until further notice.

“The objective is to slow the spread of the virus.”

"We also need to keep the NHS going and to treat the rising number of cases so we need healthcare workers who are also parents to continue to go to work and we need other critical workers with children to keep doing their jobs too, from police officers who are keeping us safe to the supermarket delivery drivers, social care workers who are looking after the elderly.

"Now I know these steps will not be easy for teachers and parents. For many parents, these will be frustrating and it will make it harder for them to go out for work and that's one of the reasons we haven't wanted it to go ahead. That's why we're now working on further measures to ensure we support not just businesses but individuals and their families to keep our economy going."

He went on to announce that exams will not take place this summer.

Johnson added: “Exams will not take place as planned in May and June although we will make sure that pupils get the qualification that they need and deserve for their academic career.”

There is confusion around what Johnson is has asked nurseries and private schools to do.