Covid-19 cases and deaths are already on the rise before the full effect of school returns has become clear (Picture: EPA/Rex/Reuters)
The government isn’t considering a firebreak lockdown this autumn despite rising cases and deaths.
Scientific advisors to the government have discussed the move and described it as ‘on the cards’, according to reports.
But speaking to Sky News, health secretary Sajid Javid ruled out the move, saying: ‘I don’t think that’s something we need to consider.
‘I haven’t even thought about that as an option at this point.’
That’s despite the fact Covid-19 related deaths are at their highest level for five months.
There were 668 Covid-related deaths in the week ending August 27, up by 17% and the highest since March.
Case numbers are on the rise in all four nations of the United Kingdom.
It is too early to say what effect schools returning without restrictions in places will have on case numbers (Picture: Getty)
Some 315.3 cases per 100,000 people were recorded in the seven days to September 2, the third day in a row the weekly rate has increased.
Scotland, where schools returned in mid-August, has seen the sharpest rise in recent weeks.
It remains to be seen if children heading back to classrooms elsewhere in the UK will lead to a similar spike.
Mr Javid said he believed vaccines would allow the UK to avoid stringent restrictions this winter.
He said: ‘Vaccines are working. Yes, there are still infections, of course there still are.
‘That’s true around the world. But the number of people going into hospital, and certainly those dying, is mercifully low, and that’s because of the vaccines.’
The health secretary distanced himself from extra autumn restrictions on Sky News (Picture: Sky)
The health secretary also said he expects to receive advice from the UK’s chief medical officers on vaccination 12 to 15-year-olds ‘in the next few days’.
Asked how he would feel about children of that age group of his own having jabs, he said: ‘I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to pass a judgment because I’m waiting for an independent view.’
He confirmed the government will seek parental consent in the first instance, but if a child is believed to be competent enough to make the vaccine decision themselves, they ‘will prevail’.
Mr Javid added: ‘If there is a difference of opinion between the child and the parent then we have specialists that work in this area, the schools vaccination service.
‘They would usually literally sit down with the parent and the child, and try to reach some kind of consensus.
‘If ultimately that doesn’t work, as along as we believe that the child is competent enough to make this decision then the child will prevail.’
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