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For some people, the new requirements may be quite confusing.
Here are some key questions answered on what you should know about the new requirements.
From September 1, and in secondary schools in England that are within areas under local restrictions, face coverings should be worn when moving around corridors and communal spaces.
This does not include classrooms and does not apply to primary-aged pupils.
Guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) says that it will not usually be necessary in classrooms, as protective measures mean the risks are lower – such as grouping staff and students in “bubbles”.
Face coverings can have a negative impact on learning and teaching and so their use in lessons should be avoided, it adds.
Additional precautionary measures apply to places defined as areas of national Government intervention, as listed on the gov.uk website, according to the guidance.
Local restrictions are currently in place in areas of Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and West Yorkshire, Leicester, Luton and Northampton.
In areas of England where there is high transmission of coronavirus, we recommend staff and secondary school pupils wear face coverings where social distancing is difficult to maintain, like corridors and communal areas.
— Department for Education (@educationgovuk) August 26, 2020
Schools and colleges outside of local lockdown areas will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, the guidance says.
It gives the example of a school or college which has a layout that makes it “particularly difficult” for people to stay apart.
Yes. Those who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, will be exempt.
Guidance says that exemptions also apply to people who provide assistance to someone who relies on lip-reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson ruled out the requirements for face coverings in England’s schools being extended further.
When asked if the measures could be extended, he told the BBC: “No, no, there’s no intention of extending it beyond that because as both (Dr Jenny Harries) said and (Schools minister Nick Gibb) said is that actually that isn’t what is required.”
The 'Theatre for Good' initiative created by @LivEveryPlay has announced four artists who will be taking part.
— The Guide Liverpool (@TheGuideLpool) August 27, 2020
Face coverings should be worn by staff and pupils when moving around secondary schools in Scotland from August 31, according to Holyrood’s Education Secretary.
John Swinney said that the rule will apply on school transport for primary school pupils aged five and above, and all those at secondary school in communal areas, but not in classrooms.
Pupils over the age of 11 in Wales will be recommended to wear face coverings in school communal areas where social distancing cannot be maintained, the Welsh Government announced on Wednesday.
This also covers pupils on school transport, college students, and staff, and will require schools and local authorities to carry out risk assessments of their sites to determine if the two-metre rule cannot be maintained.
In Northern Ireland, post-primary pupils will be asked to wear face coverings in corridors and other communal areas, Stormont’s education minister Peter Weir said.
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