SCHOOLS across England, Scotland and Wales will be closed by the end of the week as Britain desperately tries to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this evening he would be closing tens of thousands of schools this Friday due to the crisis.
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When will English school closures start due to the coronavirus outbreak?
The closures will start this Friday afternoon, with no lessons planned once they've left.
Schools will be closed for normal pupils, but kept open for the children of "key workers".
This means parents working in the NHS, emergency services and other essential fields will still be able to send their kids off while they work.
How long could school closures last?
The move comes two weeks before kids are meant to break up for the Easter break.
And they may not reopen before the six-week summer break too, with the Education Secretary today saying they would be closed "until further notice".
Schools will be closed for at least five weeks.
What did Gavin Williamson announce at the coronavirus press briefing?
Mr Williamson announced the closures this evening, and claimed "keeping schools open would no longer be in the best interests of children and teachers."
He explained the scientific evidence had "changed", and the move was at the "forefront" of Britain's fightback against the virus.
The Tory MP also revealed assessments and exams were both cancelled, and there will be performance tables this academic year.
He said: "This will be for all children except to those of key workers and children who are most vulnerable.
"The scientific evidence shows these settings are safe for this small number of children to continue attending.
"But asking others to stay away will go towards helping us slow the spread of this virus.
"Examples of these key workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work."
When will schools in Scotland and Wales close?
Schools in Scotland and Wales are to close from Friday because of the epidemic.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said schools had just lost too many staff to be able to carry on as normal.
She also warned parents not to expect them to be back in time for the summer term.
It comes after a second person died in Scotland after becoming infected.
And schools in Wales will also be closed from March 20 after the coronavirus death toll hit 104 in the UK.
Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams said: "I can announce we are bringing forward the Easter break for schools in Wales.
"Schools across Wales will close for statutory provision of education at the latest on 20 March 2020.
"I have been clear up to now that the continuity of education and the well-being of our learners has been at the heart of my decision making."
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