As part of the ‘targeted local actions’ plan, thousands of children will be instructed to cover up when they return to school after half term to stop the spread of Covid.

  • Schools in eastern England are being asked to reinstate mask-wearing and testing
  • Cases are rising fast in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, and Suffolk
  • Yesterday, the Health Safety Agency announced the measures.

Many thousands of children will be required to wear masks upon their return to school after half-term.

It was revealed yesterday that schools in the East of England will be urged by the government to reimpose the measure in addition to mass testing to stop the increase in coronavirus infections in the region.

‘Targeted local action’ will affect more than 1.5million people living in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Suffolk.

These plans include asking secondary schools for compulsory mask use in communal areas and allowing routine onsite rapid testing of pupils.

A girl wears a face mask while at work in the library at Willows High School, Cardiff in March

A girl wears a mask to protect her face while working in the library at Willows High School in Cardiff, 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.

To combat the spread of the virus, additional testing and vaccination teams will be sent to the East of England.

If they see an increase in cases, similar restrictions could be implemented in other parts of the country.

Over the past six weeks, the East has seen an increase in hospital admissions and average daily cases.

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

Only one-fifth of the England’s 12-15-year-olds have had a jab since the NHS began its rollout in schools.

This is due to high school dropout rates, experts blaming slow vaccine rollout for this.

Since the NHS’s rollout in schools, only one-fifth of England’s 12-15-year-olds have had a jab.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), last week, Covid was found in one in ten secondary schoolchildren.

More than 800 schools across the country will be visited by health teams this week in order to give the jab to more children.

The school encourages pupils to get vaccinated at walkin centres.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘The vaccines are safe and will help keep children in the classroom.’