Pupils are likely to be forced to wear face masks in communal areas due to the surge in Covid infections among teens, it is reported.

The government is looking at options to tackle the rapid rise in virus cases among teenagers and greater use of face masks is a likely option on the table.

Currently public health directors can tell specific schools that pupils need to wear masks in communal areas like assemblies and corridors if there is a spike in cases.

But new rules would mean that the directors could tell all schools in their region that they must wear masks, reported The Sun.

A decision on whether to bring in greater use of mask wearing is likely to be made after half-term with a close look at infection rates at that point.

The government is looking at options to tackle the rapid rise in virus cases among teenagers (

Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

The big fear for the government is that if infection rates continue to surge then another lockdown may be necessary with the major implications for the economy.

The extent of the surge in cases among pupils can be seen by a React Covid study which reported that the R rate for 17-year-olds and younger was 1.18 while for 18- to 54-year-olds it was 0.81.

A further 40,954 Covid cases and 263 deaths have been recorded in the UK on Tuesday, the highest daily Covid toll since 487 lives were claimed on March 3.

That's a 0.4% rise in infections compared to seven days ago, with fatalities increasing by 7.8%.

The latest figures, released this afternoon by the Department of Health, come as Britain's death toll for the whole pandemic continues to edge towards the landmark total of 140,000.

Last Tuesday's stats showed 43,738 new cases and 223 deaths.

Case rises have slowed in recent days and are now up 2.2% on a week ago, a lower figure than was seen recently.

But as hospitalisations lag behind case rises, some 6,730 patients entered UK hospitals with Covid in the last week - up 20.1% on the week before.

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