Coronavirus: Schools across the UK to close as deaths reach 104

Schools across the UK are to close to all pupils except those of key workers, as Boris Johnson urged the public to continue heeding health advice to help slow the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Johnson said schools in England will close their gates on Friday until further notice, but urged parents not to leave children in the care of grandparents or older relatives who are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus.

He said meals and vouchers would be provided for pupils who currently receive free school lunches, but said “exams will not take place as planned in May and June”.

The move comes as the Welsh Government said all schools will close for an early Easter break by Friday at the latest, just minutes before First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced schools in Scotland will also close by the end of the week.

Schools in Northern Ireland will close with immediate effect, although teachers will attend for a further two days.

To date, 104 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK.