Covid rates rise among primary school pupils

Covid rates rise among primary school pupils
© PA Archive Tory MPs are calling for school bubbles to end on July 19 (Danny Lawson/PA)

Covid-19 infection rates have increased among primary school children with two weeks remaining until the Christmas holidays.

London is among areas to see rates rise last week for children aged two to 11 and 35 to 49-year-olds, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Data shows an overall decrease in infections for people aged 70 and over while the trend was uncertain for all other age groups.

The highest rates were for children aged two to 11, at 4.3 per cent.

A spokesperson said: “In England, Covid-19 infections increased in the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber and London and decreased in the West Midlands in the week ending 27 November 2021.

“The trend was uncertain in all other regions.”

Covid-19 cases have risen in all four UK nations and remain close to record levels.

However, the upward trend is not linked to the arrival of the Omicron variant, new analysis suggests.

Around one in 60 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to November 27, up from one in 65 the previous week, according to ONS estimates.

One in 60 is the equivalent of about 898,900 people.

The government is not planning for schools to break up early for Christmas amid fears over the new Omicron variant, the prime minister’s spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

However, schoolchildren who come into contact with someone infected with the variant will have to isolate for 10 days even if they are vaccinated.

Asked if children could be made exempt from quarantine, the spokesperson said: “That’s not what we are proposing.

“We believe our measures strike the balance between keeping children in face-to-face learning while ensuring education settings remain as safe as possible while we investigate this variant.”

Millions of children returned to school in March in the first step of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown.

In early October, school bubbles were reintroduced and parents could again be banned from some playgrounds to slow the spread of Covid across London.

Almost 1,000 children in the capital were diagnosed with Covid the week prior.

The infection rate in youngsters aged 10 to 14 more than doubled compared to the start of the new school term in September.

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