"It’s wonderful!" That’s the reaction from former Aucklander and father-of-two Jacob Dunningham after the UK government announced the reopening of all England schools next month.
The University of Sussex professor of physics said juggling work meetings and times-tables for seven weeks has been challenging for him and his wife Catherine, who is currently working on the UK’s Covid-19 response.
"The schools have been great because they've put up these online stuff so my daughter and son can carry on with their schooling, so my wife and I have been able to catch up with our jobs and managed around that," he said from outside his home in Twickenham.
But he admitted his kids were showing signs of cabin fever and returning back to their school classrooms would be good for their well-being.
"They're missing their friends. They have their moments, they've coped pretty well on the whole but they have their moments."
Earlier in the day, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his "roadmap" out of the nation’s third long lockdown during the brutal winter.
His four-step plan to get the nation moving over the next four months will be conditional on the success of the vaccine rollout and evidence of deaths, infection rates and hospitalisations significantly reducing.
He hopes by July, England will be back to as close to normality as possible.
But for Kiwi pub owner Vanda Pera, the news pubs won't be able to service indoors in May and possibly June brings only more challenges to an industry that is already on its knees.
"My business is now trading at about 20 per cent," she told 1 NEWS.
"It’s been poo really, it hasn’t been the greatest year."
A born and bred Cantabrian, Pera moved to the UK in the 1990s and runs The Crown in Capel, Dorking.
She says since the pandemic, like many pubs and bars, it’s the uncertainty hurting them.
"I don’t envisage us opening in May. Personally, I don’t envisage us opening in June, which is really sad because there will be too many, 'You can’t do this, you can’t do that, you can’t go inside.'... People are really fed up with that," she said.
The pub owner is looking to rejuvenate her pub to serve and cater for outdoors only, to avoid any further restrictions or a potential third wave in the autumn.