Covid news – live: Face masks may not be needed in summer as Williamson rules out longer school days

Conrad Duncan and Samuel Osborne
·1-min read

People may not need to wear face masks during the summer months, though they may be needed again in the autumn and winter, the deputy chief medical officer, Jenny Harries, has said.

Ms Harries made the remarks at a Downing Street press conference, where the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, said longer school days were not part of the plan to help pupils catch up on lost learning after the pandemic.

Mr Williamson said, however, that he hoped extra funding announced today would allow schools to put on classes and wellbeing sessions during the summer holidays.

It comes as team behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is reportedly assessing the possibility of creating tablets or nasal sprays to replace jabs in the future.

Lead researcher Professor Sarah Gilbert told MPs her team was “thinking about second generation formulations of vaccines” which could replace injections, but warned they would “take time to develop”.

She said nasal sprays, which are already used for flu vaccines, and oral vaccinations “would have a lot of benefits for vaccine rollout”.