The prime minister knew, strolling into his first broadcast interview of 2021, that he would face some tough questions.
Within the final 24 hours alone, educating unions have warned their members to not take lessons face-to-face due to fears over the speed at which COVID-19 is spreading, a document variety of new circumstances has been introduced, and the federal government has been compelled to alter its thoughts on main colleges opening in London this week.
It was unsurprising then that Boris Johnson’s message on schools gave the impression to be complicated.
Throughout an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr he clearly acknowledged that colleges had been secure, and oldsters ought to ship their kids again if their college is open.
However when requested to ensure closed colleges will welcome pupils once more by the center of January – the deadline he set – the prime minister couldn’t say sure.
Nor may he assure that exams can be held as regular this 12 months, or rule out additional adjustments to the varsity system, regardless of his robust want to maintain all the things up and working.
He cited recommendation from public well being officers concerning the security of faculties, however this was written earlier than the unfold of the new coronavrius variant, which has been rising quickly in youthful age teams – although continues to be not inflicting severe sickness.
The prime minister’s message, coupled along with his repeated assertion that coronavirus restrictions will get more durable in some components of the nation, left viewers with extra questions than solutions.
There was no timetable for when adjustments could possibly be made, or an evidence about what a possible new Tier 5 may entail.
With rising infections and deaths throughout the nation, it is not arduous to see why such measures could be wanted.
However Mr Johnson additionally made the case that lockdowns don’t work and are a blunt instrument which won’t resolve the fast unfold.
Talking on the vaccine roll-out, he pledged to vaccinate tens of thousands and thousands of individuals over the approaching months.
But consultants have warned two million individuals per week should be vaccinated for the present wave to be curbed. Mr Johnson apologised for his incapacity to be extra particular.
It was clear from the tone of the interview that the prime minister understands the gravity of the scenario the nation now faces.
But it surely was unclear how he and his authorities will sort out it.
The vaccine and testing regimes will finally be the important thing to suppressing the unfold sufficient to return to regular life, however these may take months to get there.
Till then there can be some tough choices for ministers to take – on colleges, and on on a regular basis life for individuals across the nation.