Secondary school students should be pulled out before term ends, expert suggests

Parents should pull their children out of secondary schools early ahead of the 2020 festive break to help restrict the spread of the virus, an expert has suggested.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has suggested Covid-19 rates are highest among secondary school children.

Professor Robert West, of University College London and who sits on the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPIG-B), has suggested parents should take kids out of school early to self-isolate as a family bubble ahead of family gatherings at Christmas.

Mixed bubbles are to be allowed over five days at Christmas to bring an element of festive joy following a year of lockdowns.

But Professor West told Times Radio: ”One of the things, I think, that some of us have been suggesting is to allow parents to take their children away from schools before the official end of term.

"Not to require it, because it won't be practicable for some people but where they can do that then what you can potentially get is a situation where you've got a number of days before the holiday period starts – before the Christmas period starts – where they can be, if not self-isolated at least at low risk of getting infected and therefore at lower risk of transmitting that to vulnerable people.”

The scientist added: ”I think it's something that needs to be really carefully considered."

  • GPs told to be ready to start coronavirus vaccinations by December 18

The Mirror reports Covid cases in England have dropped significantly following a month-long lockdown during November which lifted on December 2.

An average of 25,700 new cases of positive Covid-19 test results were recorded by ONS between November 22 and 28.

The statistic is down from 38,900 new cases per day for the period November 8 to 14.

While the figures suggest a drop from 633,000 people infected with Covid from November 15 to 21 to 521,300 between November 22 and 28.

However, the statistics do not include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.

The latest data does show the virus spread dropping to the lowest rate of infections in the recent weeks since the end of September.

Hope is at the end of the tunnel – after regulators approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in the UK within the past week.

Vials of the vaccine have arrived in the UK and will begin being distributed to those most at risk from Tuesday December 8.

While there are hopes that the vaccine devised by Oxford University and AstraZeneca – which has been reported as being up to 90% effective in protecting against coronavirus – will be approved in the coming weeks.

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