Schools across Herefordshire will close by Friday, it has been announced.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said it is in order to try and limit the spread of coroanvirus.

Schools in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will also close, the devolved governments announced earlier.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in his daily coronavirus press conference that once schools shut their gates on Friday, they will remain closed for most pupils until further notice.

Closures will be for all children except those of key workers and the most vulnerable children.

Mr Johnson said the Government would ask nurseries and private schools to comply with the same measure. 


"The objective is to slow the spread of the virus, and as I said, we judge that this is the right moment to do that," Mr Johnson said.

"But of course, as I've always said, we need to keep the NHS going and treat the rising number of cases, so we need health workers who are also parents to continue to go to work.

"We need other critical workers with children to keep doing their jobs too, from police officers who are keeping us safe to supermarket delivery drivers and social care workers who look after the elderly.

"We will be setting out shortly who we mean in these groups."

The Prime Minister also said “exams will not take place as planned in May and June” after the announcement that schools in England will close for most pupils.

The education secretary, who was speaking in the House of Commons, said: "We will give schools the flexibility to provide meals or vouchers to children who are eligible for free school meals.

"Some schools are already doing this and we will make sure those costs are reimbursed.

"As soon as possible, we will put in place a national voucher system for every child who is eligible for free school meals."

He said he knows the changes 'will not be easy', adding: "I'm asking nurseries, schools and colleges to be at the forefront of our national response to this crisis.

"Given the unprecedented asks we are making of all of those working in educational settings at this time, I recognise we are asking so much of them.

"We will be asking them to be able to provide the settings to be open for those children of key workers and those vulnerable children during Easter holidays as well."