PUPILS are likely to be ordered to wear masks in schools’ communal areas.
Ministers are considering the plans amid alarm at rocketing Covid rates in teens.
The move to bring back face coverings in assemblies and hallways comes as officials examine measures to muzzle infection rates without damaging the economy.
Local public health directors can currently tell individual schools in England to put their kids in masks if infection rates are high in their area.
But ministers are considering allowing these directors to be able to inform schools across a region to bring in masks.
This could hold down rates without resorting to “more draconian measures”.
But they are waiting to see if the current school half-term works as a firebreak to reduce cases.
A React Covid study of infections in England estimates the R rate was 1.18 among 17-year-olds and under while it stood at 0.81 among 18 to 54-year-olds.
The number of virus patients in UK hospitals has hit its highest level for more than seven months.
There were 8,693 patients on October 25, up 11 per cent on the week before — and the highest total since 9,009 on March 9.
The Covid deaths figure rose yesterday to 263 from 223 last Tuesday while new cases were at 40,954, down from 43,175 on a week ago.
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