The ban on evictions in England is to be extended until the end of March, the government has announced.

It means eviction notices, which could have started again from the 22nd February, cannot be served for another six weeks.

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said it would ensure renters remained protected “during this difficult time”. The eviction ban had been extended from 11th January – the date it was originally due to expire.

Mr Jenrick said the ban on the enforcement of evictions by bailiffs would continue “in all but the most serious cases”.

He added that the government had taken unprecedented action to support renters during the Covid pandemic, and that measures had struck “the right balance between protecting tenants and enabling landlords to exercise their right to justice”.

Shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire said: “Last minute decisions and half-measures from the government are putting people’s homes at risk… Ministers promised nobody would lose their home because of coronavirus, but the current ban isn’t working.”