The Prime Minister said “it will not be possible to reopen schools after the February half term,” with the hope to bring pupils back from March 8.

Boris Johnson also told MPs that UK nationals and residents returning from “red list” countries will be placed in a 10-day quarantine in government-secured accommodation, such as hotels.

He explained in the House of Commons on Wednesday: “Our aim will be to start a gradual phased approach towards easing the restrictions in a sustainable way guided by the principles we’ve observed throughout the pandemic, beginning with the most important principle of all that reopening schools must be a national priority.”

He added: “It will not be possible to reopen schools after the February half term.”

“I can confirm that the government will prolong arrangements for providing free school meals for those eligible children not in school, including food parcels and the national voucher scheme, until they returned to the classroom.”

This comes after COVID-19 deaths surpassed 100,000 on Tuesday.

Mr Johnson also outlined new measures for travellers to the UK.

He said: “I can announce that we will require all such arrivals who cannot be refused entry to isolate in government provided accommodation, such as hotels for 10 days without exception, they will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine. The Department of Health Care is working to establish facilities as quickly as possible.”

“We will not persist for a day longer than is necessary, but nor can we relax, too soon. Because if we do, we run the risk of our NHS coming under still greater pressure compelling us to reimpose every restriction and sustain those restrictions for longer.”

“We remain in a perilous situation with more than 37,000 patients now in hospital with COVID, almost double the peak of the first wave.”

Travellers will have to pay to isolate in a monitored hotel, with COVID tests during their stay, according to Sky News.


Bin collections in Boston and in parts of East Lindsey will be suspended for the rest of the week due to COVID-related staff absences.

The collections will be suspended from Wednesday, January 27 as a number of East Lindsey District Council’s and Boston Borough Council’s waste crews either have coronavirus or are self-isolating.

Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council said it is not a decision that has been taken lightly and it is necessary for the service to be suspended in some southern parts of the district until Monday, February 1.

From Monday, waste collections are expected to continue as normal.

Households impacted by the disruption can present any accumulated side waste in black refuse sacks alongside their black bins on their next scheduled bin collection.

The following areas are affected:

  • Boston
  • Friskney
  • Eastville
  • New Leake
  • Stickford
  • Coningsby (part)
  • Coningsby Moorside
  • Dalderby
  • Haltham
  • Mareham Le Fen
  • Moorby
  • N Bolingbroke
  • Revesby
  • Scrivelsby
  • Tumby
  • Tumby Moorside
  • Tumby Woodside
  • Wilksby
  • Wood Enderby
  • Carrington
  • Dogdyke
  • Frithville
  • Gypsey Bridge
  • New Bolingbroke
  • New York
  • Scrub Hill
  • Thornton Le Fen
  • Westville
  • Antons Gowt
  • Cowbridge
  • Fishtoft
  • Frithville
  • Langrick
  • Sibsey
  • East Keal
  • East Kirkby
  • Hagnaby
  • Keal Coates
  • Midville
  • Stickney
  • Toynton All Saints
  • West Keal

Victoria Burgess, Assistant Director for Operations at the council, said: “Over the past couple of days it has proved a real challenge to keep the service going with a number of rounds having not been completed due to staff absences.

“With more crews off again today we needed to take action now and suspending the service is the only realistic option available to us to keep everyone safe – something we’ve worked hard to avoid.

“Our workforce has done an amazing job over the past year and they’ve received much praise from the community and are grateful for your continued good wishes.”

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire County Council has agreed to extend their open days at the Household Recycling Centre on Bittern Way for the disposal of black-bagged general waste and recycling only.

The two extra days of opening are Wednesday and Thursday of this week and next, between the hours of 8am and 4pm.

Over 6,000 people living in and around the Scunthorpe have signed up to donate convalescent plasma after having coronavirus.

This comes as NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is appealing for more potential plasma donors ahead of an upcoming third trial.

Convalescent plasma is the antibody-rich plasma of people who’ve had coronavirus. This can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response.

NHSBT wants more people in the area hitting the 28-day recovery mark to sign up.

Over 30 donations have so far been taken at the Scunthorpe donor centre at Berkeley House at Berkeley Business Centre on Doncaster Road, which opened in December last year.

People can register to donate online here and can donate 28 days after they’ve recovered from coronavirus.

The Lincolnshire centre is located at Berkeley House at Berkeley Business Centre on Doncaster Road in Scunthorpe. | Photo: NHSBT

NHSBT is collecting the plasma for new trials for older people or those with cancer to treat them early in the course of the infection.

Two earlier trials have now stopped for data analysis. The upcoming third trial’s focus will be on those with low immune systems and all donations are tested for COVID antibodies.

The NHS trials of convalescent plasma are the largest randomised controlled trials for this treatment of COVID-19.

Professor Dave Roberts, Associate Medical Director for Blood Donation at NHSBT, said: “More people than ever are now able to help – the time to donate is now.

“We especially need donations from people in Scunthorpe who’ve had hospital care. Men who had hospital care are around six times more likely to have the high antibody levels which might save lives.

“We have completed two trials and analysis is ongoing. We now need to collect plasma for further planned clinical studies. We’re particularly looking at high risk groups such as the elderly and people with cancer.

“Donations are vital to the ongoing lifesaving research, which gives us a better understanding of how we can best treat patients with COVID-19 and help prevent deaths in the future.”

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