The Japanese government has announced that the country’s schools are to open at the start of the academic year in April, Reuters has reported.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month asked the whole school system, from elementary to high schools, to close until spring recess in late March to help contain the coronavirus epidemic.

Japanese education minister Koichi Hagiuda said: “As for the across-the-board closure of schools until spring holidays that the government has requested, we have agreed not to extend it.”