Melton borough schools closed again as new lockdown begins

A sign on Burton Road bridge flagging up a Covid-19 test site in Melton EMN-210501-083904001A sign on Burton Road bridge flagging up a Covid-19 test site in Melton EMN-210501-083904001
A sign on Burton Road bridge flagging up a Covid-19 test site in Melton EMN-210501-083904001
Most schoolchildren across the Melton borough will stay at home today as the latest national lockdown begins in a bid to halt rapidly rising coronavirus infection rates and reduce the pressure on hospitals.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last night (Monday), in a televised address to the nation, that more stringent measures needed to be taken to limit further spread of the virus.

Melton was only raised to the strictest Tier 4 level on Wednesday, meaning all non-essential shops should close and people from different households could not mix indoors.

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Schools were, however, allowed to reopen yesterday, with a staggered return of pupils and planned Covid testing of students and staff in secondary schools.

Mr Johnson said on Sunday that it was safe for schools to reopen as planned but last night he said a major rethink of strategy was needed with nearly 60,000 new cases reported yesterday, due mainly to a highly infectious mutant strain of the virus.

As a result all schools are closed from today except for vulnerable children and those with parents employed in keyworker roles.

Exams will also be cancelled this summer in another major blow for students preparing for their GCSEs and A-levels.

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Restrictions from today (to last at least until mid-February):

***Non-essential retail shops must close, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods;

***You should not leave home except to buy essential items, for work (if you are not able to work from home), exercise or for education;

***Schools and colleges closed to most pupils with remote learning until February half-term (early years nurseries stay open);

***Summer exams will not take place;

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***University students must not go back to campuses and will be taught remotely;

***Restaurants and pubs can do food takeaway and delivery, not including alcohol;

***All outdoor sports centre should close, including golf courses, tennis courts and outdoor gyms;

***Outdoor playgrounds can remain open;

***Elite sport can still be played but amateur team sports cannot.

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