Speaking in Parliament today, Boris Johnson said it would not be possible for schools to go back immediately after the February half term.
He said: “I know how parents and teachers need as much certainty as possible, including 2 weeks notice.
“I must inform the house that it will not be possible to reopen schools after the February half term.
“I know how frustrating that will be for people who want nothing more than to get back to the classroom.
“I know too the worries we all share about the mental health of our young people.”
However, the Prime Minister added that if a series of criteria are met, which will mean the UK can start easing lockdown restrictions, schools could reopen on Monday, March 8.
Mr Johnson added he would set out plans in the week beginning February 22 for the “gradual and phased” route out of lockdown.
The Prime Minister has previously stressed that parents and teachers will be given two weeks notice before schools reopen, however.
Speaking in a Downing Street briefing on Tuesday, Mr Johnson said: “Clearly if we’re going to go back after half-term, February 22, we need to give two weeks’ notice.
“We will be making sure we give advice well in advance of that about what we hope to do and give people some rough idea of when things might be possible.”
His comments come after Public Health England (PHE) concluded that transmission of Covid-19 in primary schools was ‘extremely low’.
PHE consultant paediatrician Dr Shamez Ladhani, who lead the study, said: “Schools should be the first setting to reopen when it is safe to do so, and we are carefully monitoring the data.”