The UK’s education secretary said on 19 April that he could not give a date for when the country’s schools would re-open from Covid-19-induced closures.

During a daily coronavirus press briefing, Gavin Williamson said that five tests which prove the virus is in decline must be met before schools can re-open.

Williamson said that the pandemic was at a stage where there were “an awful lot of questions” still to be answered, while noting that there were no plans, at present, to keep schools open throughout the summer holidays, which in the UK run from July to September.

"People are anxious to know when we're going to relax restrictions, when schools are likely to be fully back and open again,” said Williamson. "Of course, I want nothing more than to see schools back, get them back to normal, make sure the children are sat around, learning, and experiencing the joy of being at school.

“But I can’t give you a date. Because, before we do, we need to meet five tests.”

The five tests include protecting the NHS's ability to cope, seeing the daily death rates come down, and having reliable data that shows the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels.

Williamson’s announcement confirmed that schools in the UK would not join counterparts in other European countries, such as France and Denmark, which in recent weeks have revised containment measures to enable students to return to schools.