Dr Hilary Jones has suggested that face masks and social distancing should be reintroduced in schools as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Schools are largely operating as normal after compulsory measures were scrapped for the start of the new academic year, something that unions have slammed.
It was revealed that hundreds of thousands of pupils were not in classrooms over reasons connected to Covid-19 at the beginning of this month, with those numbers continuing to increase.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, the health expert was questioned on what needs to be done to prevent the rise in figures.
‘We know [children] are transmitters, they’re super spreaders, they always have been, of viral infections,’ he told Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley.
‘They don’t generally get ill, and obviously when they test positive, they have to stay home and self isolate. This is a real problem.
Dr Hilary suggested measures should be reintroduced in schools (Picture: ITV)
‘They’re missing a lot of education and teachers are worried. It’s a problem, we’re very slow with the rollout of vaccinations at the moment for 12-year-old+, we’ve only vaccinated about 9% of that cohort.
‘The government was saying they wanted to get most of them done by half-term.’
When Richard asked whether he believed that measures should be made mandatory in classrooms again, he replied: ‘Yes, I think any measure that reduces the number of cases…
‘Currently one in 280 people in this country have got Covid-19 so we’ve got large numbers, 40,000 cases that are lab confirmed on a daily basis at the moment. So it is a problem.’
Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi recently revealed that masks were one measure ministers could turn to if cases continue to rise, but signalled he would not reintroduce bubbles.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: ‘The good news is that – and thanks to the brilliant teachers and support staff and parents and children – 99% of schools are open.
‘Attendance has gone up, the last set of figures I looked at was about 90%, which obviously will fluctuate depending on infection rates.
‘But my priority is to protect education, keep those schools open.’
On masks, he added: ‘We’ve got a contingency plan, as you would expect me to do…it contains lots of contingencies, including masks, absolutely.’
Good Morning Britain continues on weekdays at 6am on ITV.