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UK schools to close starting Friday

UK schools to close starting Friday
© Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday that all schools would be closed indefinitely starting Friday afternoon, as the number of coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom rises.

“After schools shut their gates on Friday afternoon, they will remain closed for most pupils, the vast majority of pupils, until further notice,” Johnson told reporters, according to Bloomberg. “We are simultaneously asking nurseries and private schools to do the same.”

Schools will only stay open for children of “key workers,” such as health care professionals and delivery drivers.

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The move comes after Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak earlier this week introduced approximately $404 billion worth of aid, including tax cuts and loans, to help British businesses during the pandemic. The economic fallout from the virus has driven the British pound to its lowest level against the American dollar since 1985, Bloomberg reports.

Johnson's announcement affects 8.7 million students, and end-of-year exams have been called off. 

The U.K. has more than 2,600 confirmed cases of the virus with more than 100 related deaths.