Schools across the UK will close from Friday until further notice, the education secretary has announced.
The government had resisted calls to close schools, because NHS workers would be among those who may need to stay home and look after their children.
But teachers, head teachers and unions have warned that many schools are so short-staffed that they are struggling to remain open.
Therefore, the decision has been taken to close all schools in England to all but the children of key workers and the most vulnerable children from Friday.
Examples of key workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Gavin Williamson said: “I want to provide parents, students and staff with the certainty they need.”
“After schools shut their gates on Friday afternoon, they will remain closed until further notice.”
“This will be for all children, except for those of key workers and children who are most vulnerable.”
“The scientific advice shows that the settings are safe for this small number of children attending, but asking others to stay will just go towards helping us slow the spread of this virus.”
Earlier, it was announced that Scotland and Wales would be closing all schools by Friday because of Coronavirus.