Coronavirus updates: ‘No decision’ on when schools will reopen and more

No decision has yet been made on when schools will reopen due to the COVID-19 lockdown – the Education Secretary has said.

Gavin Williamson tweeted on Sunday morning that “no decision has been made on when we will reopen schools”.

“I can reassure schools and parents that they will only reopen when the scientific advice indicates it is the right time to do so,” he added.

Michael Gove has also denied reports that the Government has drawn up a graduated plan to start easing the coronavirus lockdown within weeks.

Asked if a claim about the so-called “traffic light” strategy was correct, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “No, it is not.”

He added: “It is the case that we are looking at all of the evidence, but we have set some tests which need to be passed before we can think of easing restrictions in this lockdown.”

On moves to ease lockdown restrictions, Mr Gove said: “It is entirely understandable, of course, that there should be a public debate about how we approach these difficult choices.

“But the most important thing to do is to make sure that we proceed in a way that is guided by science.”

There are now 273 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Stoke-on-Trent, another 1,159 in Staffordshire and 571 in Cheshire East, according to Public Health England figures released yesterday – although as always the actual number of cases will be far higher.

On Saturday afternoon the Department of Health confirmed a total of 15,464 people have died with Covid-19 at UK hospitals – including 118 at Royal Stoke and Stafford’s County Hospital, one at Harplands Hospital, 77 at the trust that includes Crewe’s Leighton Hospital and 47 at the hospital trust that includes hospitals in Macclesfield and Congleton.

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