KIDS are six times less likely to spread the coronavirus as experts claim the use of bubble groups will be an effective way of containing infection transmissions.
The study found that children under the age of 12 had the same transmission rate of kids aged 13 to 17.
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Schools up and down the UK have reopened today [/caption]
Experts had previously warned that teenagers “needed to be controlled” in order to stop the spread, but researchers at Sant Joan Déu children’s hospital in Barcelona claim that most children have the same reproductive rating.
It comes as millions of children across the UK went back to school today.
Four in ten schools in England welcomed back pupils for the autumn term today, with the rest reopening later this week.
Some 97 per cent of schools are ready to reopen fully in the next few days.
The Spanish researchers monitored kids in summer camps for five weeks in the Barcelona area.
They used summer camps as a base as these were the environments most similar to schools.
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Children will face a string of new rules to have to abide by when they return to their classrooms.
They will have to wear face masks in corridors and communal areas in coronavirus hotspot areas.
And some headteachers have orderd kids to wear masks or visors anyway to try and keep them safe.
Pupils will be kept in bubbles of classes and even year groups, with no mixing with others allowed.
Some schools are introducing new ‘zones’ to keep kids apart, with separate classrooms, toilets and lunch areas to stop any spread.
Many will have staggered start and finish times to discourage meeting pals in other years, and will have breaks at different times too.
And some will even have their own entrances and exits.
There will be more sanitising stations for kids to wash their hands.
Anyone with symptoms will have to take a rapid test and some children may be isolated.
But schools are unlikely to close unless there’s a huge outbreak.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted that schools will be the last to close again in another lockdown.
The team tracked 1,900 people at the 22 summer schools, which were mostly made up of kids.
Juanjo García, the head of pediatrics at the hospital told The Times that each week a group of hospital personnel would travel to the camp and take saliva samples for a PCR test.
The screening, which is carried out by a nasal swab, is able to identify if the virus is present.
Of the 1,900 people tracked, the team found 39 cases of the virus, 30 of which were children.
Lead researcher Iolanda Jordan said the children had 253 contacts in their respective groups.
She added: “Only 12 new contagions occurred, which is an infection rate of 4.7 per cent and an R reproduction rate of 0.3.
“It’s a low R, six times lower than the R we found in the general population, which ranged between 1.7 and 2.”
During the summer camps most activities took place outside and children were put into groups of ten children.
The experts said the results are promising for the reopening of schools.
Dr Jordan said the use of bubbles is an effective way of facilitating tracing and containing transmission.
Experts have hailed “bubbling” as an effective way to limit the spread[/caption]
In some schools in the UK, children will be placed into bubbles.
This will usually be with other children in their year and kids will be taught in one room for the whole school day with teachers going from classroom to classroom.
The director of the hospital has hailed the study “as the most important at an international level”.
As in the UK, the Spanish government also reopened schools today after the country struggled to control a surge of cases.
Just yesterday restrictions were placed on 6,000 residents of Beniganim, in Valencia, which is just 60 miles from the popular resort of Benidorm.
In Spain kids going back to school will have to wear masks if they are over the age of six.
Social distancing of 1.5 metres will also remain and classrooms will be ventilated where possible.
Staff numbers have also been reduced and sports events at schools will be limited – with parents unable to attend.