BORIS Johnson is preparing to announce that all schools will reopen on March 8 in the first stage of lockdown easing.
The Prime Minister will confirm that all schools will re-open on March 8 – the day a coffee in the park with a friend will also become legal again.
The PM is expected to announce today that 15million people have been vaccinated — 24 hours ahead of schedule.
The target of vaccinating the four most vulnerable groups is seen as key to allowing kids to get back to school and the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Mr Johnson is now preparing to give Brits some of their freedoms back when he unveils his “roadmap” on February 22.
Getting kids back to school is still his top priority but he will also lift curbs on people meeting for a coffee in the park.
Outdoor socialising will be among a host of banned activities that will be allowed from next month.
Current rules mean people may only meet outdoors for exercise – while standing up.
Reviving the High Street will come soon afterwards, with a risk assessment of non-essential shops reopening underway, followed by pubs and restaurants.
The PM last week told ministers there will be no backsliding on his goal of getting kids back to class from March 8 – despite a mutiny by Sage scientists.
Sir Jeremy Farrar said Covid infections must be cut from the current 750,000 to just 9,000 “before we can think about lifting restrictions”.
Meanwhile, Prof John Edmunds said opening schools could push the R rate above 1, and some restrictions will be needed until Christmas.
MPs have called on Mr Johnson to extend the school day with extra classes and to carry on teaching into the summer time to help kids catch up.
And the Prime Minister has vowed to spend £1.3billion to help children try to catch up on all the classroom time they have missed out on.
But some teachers are now warning against the sudden re-opening of schools with Chief executive of the Oasis Academies trust, Steve Chalke saying it is “impossible.”
He said, exam years should be brought back first and that the reopening “should be driven by scientific data not dates.”
Yesterday, the Prime Minister said he was “optimistic” that the vaccine roll-out will allow for further easing in the coming months.
He said: “I’m optimistic, but we have to be cautious.”
“Our children’s education is our number one priority, but then working forward, getting non-essential retail open as well and then, in due course, as and when we can prudently, cautiously, of course we want to be opening hospitality as well.
“I will be trying to set out as much as I possibly can in as much detail as I can, always understanding that we have to be wary of the pattern of disease.
“We don’t want to be forced into any kind of retreat or reverse ferret.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Sophy Ridge this morning “we need to wait” to see the data before deciding how schools will reopen from March 8.
The Prime Minister will outline his road map for lifting restrictions on February 22.