MILLIONS of schoolkids in the worst-hit Covid areas will stay home for at least an extra two weeks after the Christmas holidays.
But when will schools reopen in Tier 4 areas?
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When will schools reopen in Tier 4 areas?
Thousands of schools in 49 hardest-hit Covid areas will remain closed because of spiralling cases.
That includes most of London, Essex, Kent, and a handful of areas in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and East Sussex.
ALL schools will have to close, including primaries, in these areas.
They will stay closed until at least January 18 – but will be reviewed every two weeks.
So the earliest that schools will reopen in the Tier 4 affected areas is January 18.
Why have schools been closed in Tier 4 areas?
Schools in certain Tier 4 areas have been closed because of the fatal growing rates of coronavirus.
The accelerated rate of transmission also has the new mutant strain to blame – which has been ripping through the south east and London for more than a month.
Boris Johnson told the nation on December 30 at an emergency press conference: "I am afraid the start of the new term will be delayed until at least January 18, when the latest data on those infection rates will be reviewed.
"That is because the rate of transmission in these areas is so high, and there’s just such pressure on the local NHS, that extra action is required to control the spread of the virus."
And he warned: "depending on the spread of the disease it may be necessary to take further action in their cases as well, in as I say the worst affected areas."
The Education Secretary stressed schools were only being closed "as a last resort".
Expected return dates for schools
January 4: All primary schools will return as planned – except for in Covid hotspot areas which will remain closed
January 11: Secondary school kids set to sit key exams this year will return
January 18: All secondary school kids – except for Covid hotspot areas which will be reviewed regularly
? – Kids in Covid hotspot areas – both primary and secondary schools don't yet have a return date
Can my child still go to school if I'm a key worker?
Yes, your child can go to school if you are a key worker – regardless of where the school is in the country or tier system.
Key worker's children and vulnerable pupils are the only exceptions to the new rule.
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