Secondary school students have been urged to get tested for Covid-19 before they return to school after the October half term break.

Norfolk County Council is asking for all secondary school pupils to take a lateral flow test on Sunday night or Monday morning, at the end of the week.

This message comes following a reported rise in cases, with 1,327 cases among 10 to 14 year olds in the week ending October 22, compared to 1,219 the previous week.

Chris Snudden, director of learning and inclusion at Norfolk County Council, said: “It was brilliant to see children return to school in September with a much more rounded education.

"Extra curricular activities, school-trips and events were all able to take place, giving children the chance to catch-up on some of the more social activities that are so important to their learning and well-being.

“We really want this to be able to continue through the second half of the autumn term, so we’re asking parents and high school children to keep testing regularly, so that we can reduce the spread of the virus in schools and help keep children and school staff as safe as possible.”

Secondary school students can receive symptom free test kits from their schools but extra packs can be picked up from libraries, pharmacies and some testing sites.

Dr Louise Smith, director for public health at Norfolk County Council, added: “Vaccination, regular testing and good hygiene are crucial if we are to minimise the spread of the virus.

"Rates of Covid-19 are lower in Norfolk schools than in our neighbouring authorities and we want to keep it that way.

"If every secondary school child takes a test before they return to school, then we will help to identify some of those who don’t have symptoms and prevent them from taking the virus back into their classrooms.

“We are thankful to all of those who are doing their part by taking part in regular testing – this is helping to protect the most vulnerable as we head into cold and flu season.”