Pupils are staff are being reminded of the importance of wearing face coverings and getting a regular rapid testing to help keep their schools Covid-secure.

All secondary schools were asked to provide an on-site rapid Covid-19 test to each pupil before they returned to the classroom this week to help reduce the transmission of Covid-19. They should then take a second rapid test at home 3 to 4 days later.

Primary, secondary and early years staff were asked to self-test at home before returning, and secondary pupils and all staff should continue to test themselves twice a week, or more frequently in the event of an outbreak.

Face coverings are now required to be worn in classrooms in secondary schools, as well as in communal areas and on school and public transport, unless pupils and staff are exempt.

Meanwhile, 12 to 15 year olds are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated by having 2 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, while anyone aged 16 and over is urged to get their booster as soon as it is due.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "It is of course excellent news that children and young people have been able to return to the classroom following the recent Christmas break which, for the vast majority, was unfortunately not the case last year.

"We want our classrooms open and operating because that's where our children want and need to be, and the onus is now on everyone to do all they can to stop the spread of the new Omicron variant by wearing face coverings where required and getting tested regularly.

"Vaccines remain the greatest protection we can have against Covid-19 and so I urge all 12 to 15 year olds who have not come forward yet to get vaccinated, and everyone aged 16 and over to get their boosters as soon as they are able to."

He added: "As we begin another new term, I'd like to place on record my thanks to everyone working in our city's schools for their continued resilience and dedication which is helping our children and young people through this pandemic and giving them the best possible education."

Latest figures show there were 1,977.3 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the last 7 days. That means 5,200 people tested positive for the virus in that same period – though the true number of cases will likely be higher.