Epsom Primary School was forced to close this week after an external staff member contracted Covid-19 coronavirus. 

In a letter sent to parents and seen by the Comet, a spokesperson for the school said they would remain closed for 14 days after informing and consulting with Public Health England (PHE). 

The case was confirmed among a member of the 'external' catering staff, and the school said that the popularity of in-school meals for students influenced their decision to shut the school. 

"Unfortunately, we have discovered and reported to Public Health England that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school in our external catering team," the letter read. 

"As the majority of children currently in school receive school dinners, we have decided through discussion with Public Health, to close the school for 14 days to eliminate the risk of cross infection," it continued. 

The school further advised that "all children and staff who have school dinners, should now self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution..." 

It added that other members of the household could behave as normal under this guidance, "provided your child does not develop symptoms". 

Some primary schools reopened in the UK earlier this month, while others supported by parents and teachers decided to remain closed. 

The new case at Epsom Primary suggested there remained a risk of transmission from schools reopening too soon during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

The school urged all those impacted by the closure to reference existing PHE advice on self-isolation during coronavirus. 

Responding to a request from the Comet, Epsom Primary School Headteacher Michelle Pollard said: 

"As head teacher,  I am disappointed for our families that we have had to take these measures at a time when some normality was returning for our children. 

"However, I have a duty to mitigate any known risk, however low, to our children or our staff. We would all rather be in school this week, but after seeking advice from Public Health England, it was recommended that children self-isolate as a precaution.

"Although the positive COVID-19 test was not a member of school staff, we have to put our children’s safety first and minimise the possibility of a local outbreak in our community."