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Covid news: Tories revolt over potential post-Easter schools return

Kate Ng,Vincent Wood and Peter Stubley
·1-min read
<p>Nurse Hannah Flynn administers the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to a patient at a temporary vaccination centre in the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster</p> (AFP/Getty)

Nurse Hannah Flynn administers the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to a patient at a temporary vaccination centre in the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster

(AFP/Getty)

Tory MPs are urging the government to set out an ‘education roadmap’ after the government admitted schools may not reopen before Easter.

Health secretary Matt Hancock warned on Sunday that remote learning could continue into April and said any return to the classroom would depend on the latest Covid data.

However the Conservative chair of the education committee, Robert Halfon, called for clarity on when face-to-face teaching would resume given that the original plan was for a restart after the February half term.

Meanwhile the UK recorded 30,004 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, with 610 further deaths in the latest 24-hour period, according to official figures.

Government data up to 23 January also showed that over six million Covid-19 vaccine jabs have been administered in the UK so far, including 6,353,321 first doses and 469,660 second doses. In order to meet the government’s target of 15 million first doses by 15 February, an average of 393,031 first doses would be needed each day.

The deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), Professor Anthony Harnden, said that delaying a second dose of the vaccine may give stronger protection in the long term.

Prof Harnden defended the government’s decision to delay the second dose of vaccinations to allow more people to receive their first dose, adding that the strategy will hopefully “get more people immunised and protect the vulnerable elderly” as well as “give protection to the populations as a whole”.