THE date for when schools in the North-East will reopen has been confirmed this morning as a Government minister revealed the easing of restrictions.

The Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi this morning revealed that schools in England would be reopening from March 8, while talking about our exit from the third lockdown.

It comes as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson is today set to announce the country's roadmap on exiting the national lockdown.

SEE MORE: Live updates as Boris Johnson to announce the easing of lockdown restrictions

Mr Zahawi told Sky News that the Covid jab appeared to be having an impact on Covid case rates as he responded to a question on schools.

'We're going to reopen schools'

He said: “Suffice to say the evidence looks good.

“The Oxford team demonstrated their own evidence of cutting transmission by two thirds.

“We wouldn’t be in this place this morning to be able to say that we’re going to reopen schools on March 8, and of course, as the school holidays begin on March 29, we will look at the rule of six and two families being (able) to see each other outdoors, if we’re not confident that actually the vaccine programme is beginning to really bear fruit.”

The Northern Echo:

Rules on meeting others to change 

Mr Zahawi said the focus of easing lockdown restrictions is “steady as she goes” as he said there would be an easing of restrictions on outdoor socialising.

Asked if travelling distances to see family would be permitted from March 29, he said: “As long as it’s outdoors, and it is two families, or the rule of six, then that is what will be permitted if the four tests continue to be delivered upon.

“That will be the national lockdown, of course Scotland, as you mentioned, Northern Ireland and Wales will be setting out their own road map towards reopening their economies as well.

“So at the moment, the focus is very much on the steady as she goes. Outdoor versus indoor, priority being children in schools, second priority is obviously allowing two people on March 8 to meet outside for a coffee to address some of the issues around loneliness and of course mental health as well.

“And then the 29th is two families or rule of six coming together and outdoor sporting activities as well.”