School mask guidance strengthened
ALL AREAS: Students are being asked to wear face coverings in classrooms to help limit the spread of coronavirus at the start of the New Year.
Last term the Government said secondary school pupils, staff and adult visitors should wear masks while moving around school premises, such as corridors and communal areas.
But the guidance has now been strengthened to include face coverings in classrooms for all pupils, except for lessons like physical education.
Schools in Windsor and Maidenhead started returning to teaching this week with some places due to reopen next week.
All secondary schools have also been asked to provide one on-site coronavirus test for pupils ahead of their return to the classroom.
Students in Year 7 and above are still being recommended to test themselves twice-a-week at home for the virus this term.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We are doing all we can to minimise disruption this virus causes to everyday life, including keeping children in school, and regular testing is a key way to support schools and protect face-to-face teaching.
“Vaccines remain our greatest line of defence so I urge all 12-15 year olds who have not come forward yet to get vaccinated, and all teachers to Get Boosted Now to protect yourself and those around you.”