Face coverings recommended in secondary classrooms

Updated DfE guidance now says it is recommending the use of face coverings in secondary schools be extended to all indoor environments, including classrooms.

Face coverings were previously mandatory for pupils and adults in indoor communal areas of secondary schools.

The government now recommends that face coverings should be worn in classrooms or during activities unless social distancing can be maintained. This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons

Transparent face coverings, which may assist communication with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate, can also be worn. Those who rely on visual signals for communication, or communicate with or provide support to such individuals, are currently exempt from any requirement to wear face coverings in schools or in public places.   

In primary schools, face coverings should be worn by staff and adult visitors in situations where social distancing between adults is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas). But children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.

The guidance says this is an additional precautionary measure for a limited time during this period of high coronavirus (COVID-19) prevalence in the community, and that they will be in place until Easter.

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