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Some pupils could return to school after half term

  First Minister Mark Drakeford announces the new changes to lockdown restrictions in Wales

The First Minister is expected to confirm today that some primary school children could begin a phased return to school from 22 February - just after half term - if Covid rates continue to fall,

The decision comes as ministers have been under pressure to set out their plans for a return to face-to-face teaching.

But the First Minister is expected to confirm that tough "alert level four" restrictions will remain for the next three weeks.

A Welsh Government statement said he would "indicate that the youngest learners in primary school" could start going back to the classroom after the February half term if rates of coronavirus continued to fall.

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Mr Drakeford is expected to make the announcement at lunchtime on Friday, when he sets out the results of a three-week review into the level four restrictions.

Its chief medical officer, Dr Frank Atherton, said on Wednesday that a national easing of the rules was unlikely until at least the end of February.

The reproduction - or R number - in Wales was put at 0.7- 0.9 this week.

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