This is when schools might re-open - but there will be no rapid lifting of lockdown

Schools across England may re-open early next month, but there will be no rapid lifting of lockdown, according to reports.

Sunday, 14th February 2021, 12:15 pm

March 8 has been pencilled in as the date when pupils could return to the classroom – but shops and pubs and restaurants are expected to remain closed for much longer, Government chiefs have said.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has rejected calls from Conservative MPs to put a date on when lockdown measures will be eased, saying the government will be "cautious and careful".

The lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group wants all restrictions lifted by the end of April.

Schools could re-open on March 8.

Mr Raab told the BBC he was "confident" in the vaccine rollout, but added: "You can't get ahead of the evidence."

Mr Raab told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "I think we are also cautious and careful because you can't get ahead of the evidence of the impact of the vaccine on the transmission."

On Saurday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he planned a "cautious" reopening - the road map for which will be unveiled on 22 February.

The CRG has called for pubs and restaurants to open by Easter in a "Covid-secure" and "commercially viable" way, saying two-thirds of the people in the nine priority groups should have had a first vaccine dose by then.

And by the end of the April, they say, all the priority groups should have had one jab - meaning laws could be removed.

There have been suggestions that rules on meeting people outdoors could be the first to be relaxed.