Boris Johnson says coronavirus school closure decision ‘imminent’

Boris Johnson has said a decision on closing schools is “imminent” as Britain braces for a coronavirus lockdown.

He told MPs: "The House should expect decisions to be taken imminently on schools."

Last night the PM hinted they could close after 650k signed a petition urging him to keep kids at home.

He said: "I understand completely where people are at with that, we're keeping it under continuous review."

Today the Welsh government promised to close all schools by 20 March, while Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was "likely" she would be forced to take the same decision this week.

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Earlier this week it emerged that the government’s initial plan to control the virus could have resulted in 250,000 people dying, the researchers said.

A study revealed this approach would "likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over".

Coronavirus in Britain – latest figures

Disease expert Neil Ferguson earlier said the UK was three weeks behind Italy and two weeks behind France and Spain in terms of the virus’s spread.

His study warned: "We therefore conclude that epidemic suppression is the only viable strategy at the current time. The social and economic effects of the measures which are needed to achieve this policy goal will be profound."

The government yesterday announced the death toll had reached 71 in the UK, with two new fatalities confirmed in Milton Keynes this morning.

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