UK Covid cases have risen by 12% in a week as 45 more people die with the virus.
Today’s figures released by the government show 41,192 new cases reported, giving a total of 7,018,927 since the pandemic began.
The news comes shortly after a top scientist warned Brits to prepare for a serious spike in cases this autumn.
A return to school for children, coupled with more people heading back to offices, means there will be a greater opportunity for the virus to spread, said Prof John Edmunds, of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).
He told the BBC’s Today programme: “I don’t want to say it’s just about schools opening because it isn’t, it’s with a wider reopening of society that I think we’d expect to see, now summer’s over, organisations will be starting to expect their employees back at work in the office, and I think that employees want to go back to the office, and all of that will add to increased contact rates and increased risk in society.”
It comes as Covid jabs will be rolled out in schools to all over-12s within days of the chief medical officers giving them the green light this week.
The Mirror understands the Government’s top scientific advisers will make the final decision on jabs for the UK’s four million 12 to 15-year olds by Friday at the latest.
Whitehall sources said ministers would then “press the button” on the NHS roll-out as quickly as possible to get needles into pupils’ arms.
With millions of secondary school children returning to class on Monday, ministers are concerned about a spike in Covid infections in coming weeks.
Under the plans, pupils could be offered the jab on school premises by local NHS teams – just as flu jabs have been distributed in primary schools for years – as soon as the following week.
This could mean portakabins in playgrounds, gyms and assembly halls being converted into temporary vaccination centres or pupils given special permission to miss class to get jabs.
One Government source told the Mirror: “The four CMOs will make their decision this week and the NHS has already been working on starting the roll-out.
“If they do give a green light then there will be quite a quick turnaround.
“We could see local NHS teams in schools the following week”.