Thousands of children will be told to mask up when they return to school after half-term to stop spread of Covid as part of ‘targeted local action’ plan
- Schools in eastern England will be asked to reimpose mask-wearing and testing
- Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Suffolk are seeing fast rises in cases
- The measures were announced by the Health Safety Agency yesterday
Thousands of children will be told to wear masks when they return to school after half-term.
Schools in the East of England will be urged to reimpose the measure on top of mass testing to halt an increase in coronavirus cases in the region, it emerged yesterday.
‘Targeted local action’ will affect more than 1.5million people living in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Suffolk.
The plans include asking secondary schools to make masks compulsory in communal areas, as well as the return of routine onsite rapid testing for pupils.
A girl wears a face mask while at work in the library at Willows High School, Cardiff in March
The measures – which will be in place for at least five weeks – were announced by the Health Security Agency, the organisation which has replaced Public Health England.
Extra vaccination and testing teams will also be deployed to the East of England to try and tackle the spread of the virus.
Similar restrictions could be rolled out across other parts of the country this winter if they also see a spike in cases.
Average daily cases and hospital admissions in the East have doubled over the past six weeks.
Just one in five 12 to 15-year-olds in England have had a jab in the month since the NHS started its rollout in schools
This has been driven by high rates among schoolchildren, which experts have blamed on the slow vaccine rollout to youngsters.
Just one in five 12 to 15-year-olds in England have had a jab in the month since the NHS started its rollout in schools.
And last week one in ten secondary schoolchildren in England had Covid, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Health teams are preparing to visit more than 800 schools across the country this week to offer more children the jab.
Pupils are also being urged to get vaccinated at walk-in centres.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘The vaccines are safe and will help keep children in the classroom.’