Secondary school pupils should wear masks in communal areas, Department for Education announces as third case of mutant Covid strain is found in UK

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  • DFE issues guidance as HSA identifies third UK Omicron case
  • Schools were emailed today and told ‘masks must be worn in communal areas’
  • Students were also asked to ensure wearing of masks on public transport to school

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Secondary school students have been asked by the Department of Education to wear masks in communal areas – as the third case of the UK’s new Omicron Covid variant was identified.

DfE sent an email update to schools and childcare providers, saying: ‘Face coverings must be worn by staff, visitors and pupils or students in communal areas in all settings in Year 7 and over, unless they are exempted. Be.

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‘Students or students (in Year 7 or older) should continue to wear a face covering on public and dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt.’

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The new advice comes a day after Boris Johnson announced new face covering rules on public transport and shops

The UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) said a man, who has been in the country for a long time, tested positive for the Omicron variant after a trip to Westminster in London and the infection was ‘linked to travel to southern Africa’.

The Omicron version is believed to be more transmittable than the Delta version currently in use.

It was first identified in South Africa, but has since been designated ‘a form of anxiety’ by the World Health Organisation, in Hong Kong, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The prime minister used a press conference on Saturday night to introduce new restrictions on travel and face mask rules for retail and public transport across the UK.

Anyone entering the UK from abroad must now self-isolate upon arrival, unless they have obtained a negative PCR test.

The new restrictions will be reviewed in three weeks when more data about the Omicron version is revealed.

UKHSA Chief Executive Jenny Harris said: ‘Our advanced sequencing capabilities enable us to find variants and take rapid action to limit further spread.

The prime minister used a televised press conference yesterday to call for a ban for the first time in months to delay the spread of the Omicron version

The prime minister used a televised press conference yesterday to call for a ban for the first time in months to delay the spread of the Omicron version

The email advised students to follow the new guidance if they use public transport to get to school

The email advised students to follow the new guidance if they use public transport to get to school

‘It is very likely that we will find more cases in the coming days as we are seeing in other countries globally and as we trace the case through focused contact tracing.’

The South African doctor who first raised the alarm over Omicron revealed today that patients are presenting ‘unusual’ but ‘mild’ symptoms compared to other types.

Dr Angelique Coetzee, who runs a private practice in the South African administrative capital of Pretoria, said earlier this month she first noticed Covid patients were presenting with a number of strange symptoms.

The doctor, who has practiced for more than 30 years and chairs the South African Medical Association, said none of Omicron’s patients suffered the loss of taste of smell typically associated with Covid, but instead the acute Presented with abnormal markers such as fatigue and a high. pulse rate.

“Their symptoms were so different and so mild that I had been treated before,” Dr Coetzee told The Telegraph.

This comes after another 37,681 COVID cases and 51 deaths were recorded in the UK today.

The number of infections posted by health department officials today is down 5.8 per cent from the 40,004 reported last Sunday, while the death toll within 28 days of testing positive for Covid dropped by 16.4 per cent from 61 last week .

The case count has been around 30,000-50,000 new cases steadily since the summer, with a relatively low number of daily deaths in the UK compared to previous waves of the pandemic.

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