KIDS over the age of 11 in England must wear face masks in school corridors from tomorrow, the Government announced today.
Children in secondary school should cover up when they are moving around school and can’t keep a safe distance from others – but they don’t need to cover up in class.
New guidance released this afternoon – just hours before England is plunged into another lockdown, said: “Face coverings should be worn by adults and children aged 11 and above when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms or activity rooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.”
And teachers in primary schools will be allowed to let staff wear masks too – though in reality many schools were already doing that.
Face coverings must also be worn outside of school areas where older kids are likely to come into contact with other members of the public – like on trips out.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said today: “We must put the interests of our children and young people first, especially when the benefits of being in the classroom are clear.
“Children are settled back into their routines and schools have protective measures in place keep their staff and pupils as safe as possible.
“Education is a national priority and we cannot allow it to be disrupted again.”
There are no plans for schools to shut or go onto a rota system at the moment, the Government has said.
Schools have until Monday to get the new rules into effect after they released the fresh guidance at the very last minute.
Previously only kids in high-risk areas had to cover up.
And in the rest of the country it was up to the discretion of headteachers and schools to decide what they wanted to do.
Kids in years seven and above have also been told cover up when they are on the school bus, too.
Schools will continue to remain open throughout the second month-long lockdown.
In primary schools, for children in aged six and below, there is no change to the rules.
Adults coming into schools should wear one.
The rules go even further than in Scotland, where only kids aged 15 and over have to wear them.
Advice from the World Health Organisation has said that over 12s should wear masks.
There is some evidence that older children can contribute towards the spread of coronavirus.
But children overall – especially younger ones – are very unlikely to get it themselves and become seriously unwell.
During the next month early years settings and child minders remain open for kids under 5 to use as normal.
And other care services like breakfast clubs and after school activities can continue too, to help parents continue to go to work.
Nannies are allowed to provide services inside people’s homes.
And people can form a childcare support bubble with another household to look after kids – where the child is under 13.
But kids who are extremely clinically vulnerable are advised not to attend nursery or childcare during the lockdown.
Parents will shortly get letters confirming them of the latest advice.
People will be told to stay at home except for a string of exemptions – which includes going to school or work.