Boris Johnson confirms primary schools may reopen on June 1 as he delivers plan for phasing out lockdown

10 May 2020, 19:30 | Updated: 10 May 2020, 20:58

The Prime Minister addressed the nation in a televised message this evening.

Boris Johnson has confirmed that the government is hoping to reopen schools for some pupils after the May half term.

Read more: Boris Johnson says ‘unlimited exercise’ and 'sitting in the sun' will be allowed from Wednesday

Speaking during his televised address to the nation this evening, the Prime Minister announced the possible phases in which lockdown measures could be eased.

He said: "This is not the time to end lockdown this week. Instead, we are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures.

Boris Johnson addressed the nation this evening
Boris Johnson addressed the nation this evening. Picture: PA

The Prime Minister said that, as part of phase two, the government is hoping to reopen schools by 'earliest June 1st', saying: "After half term we believe we may be in a position to reopen shops and get primary pupils back to school beginning reception, year one and year six.

The Prime Minister added that they are also aiming to get secondary pupils facing exams next year back to school, so that they can have some time with their teachers before the holidays.

Many students have been home-schooled since schools were closed
Many students have been home-schooled since schools were closed. Picture: PA

Schools were closed on Friday 20th March, just days before the UK entered lockdown on the 23rd. Schools are still open for the children of key workers.

The first phase of the government post-lockdown plan is that the public will be encouraged to go back to work from Monday - but only if they cannot work from home.

He said: "We now need to stress that anyone who can’t work from home - construction, manufacturing - should be actively encouraged to go to work, and we want it to be safe for you to go to work." He also urged people to avoid public transport where possible.

The Prime Minister also lifted the once-daily limit on exercise, saying: "From this Wednesday, we want to encourage people to take unlimited outdoor exercise.

"You can sit in the sun, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports with your household. You must obey the rules on social distancing. To enforce those rules, we will increase the fines for the small minority who break them."

The third phase will be the reopening of some hospitality and public places, which could happen in July.

He also urged the country to continue practicing social distancing.

The Prime Minister stressed that the phases are not set in stone, and that the following five key tests must be met before we can lift lockdown.

1) That the NHS can cope

2) That there is a 'sustained and consistent' decrease in daily deaths

3) There needs to be reliable data from SAGE that the rate of infection is decreasing to 'manageable levels'

4) The supply of tests and PPE can meet future demand

5) That we are confident that any changes will not risk a second peak in the virus

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the 'Stay at home' message still remains.