Mask rules to be relaxed at schools

ALL teachers and secondary school students will no longer have to wear masks during lessons following updated Covid-19 guidance for schools and colleges.

JCG teacher Jacque Rutter, head of creative and performance facilities, wears an unusual mask as part of Covid-19 regulations
JCG teacher Jacque Rutter, head of creative and performance facilities, wears an unusual mask as part of Covid-19 regulations

And school trips, sports days, induction visits and proms are all to be allowed once again.

From Monday, the recommendation for masks for staff in early years and at primary schools and for staff and students at secondary schools which had been in place since November will cease.

However, primary school staff and secondary school students and staff should continue to wear mouth and nose coverings in communal areas.

Children over the age of 11 will still be required to wear masks on buses and staff and students who want to continue wearing masks in lessons will be allowed to do so.

All adults visiting inside schools should also continue to wear them, while class bubbles will remain in place as will advice on ventilation.

Deputy medical officer of Health Dr Ivan Muscat said: 'The introduction of additional guidance for schools and settings was prudent in light of the risks posed by Covid-19. However, given the low number of cases on Island, we are now able to amend our guidance.

'Our aim has always been to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission by modulating the modes of spread.

'This is why we are continuing to advise that schools and settings continue to focus on ventilation, both in classrooms and communal areas. Maintaining high levels of ventilation will ensure that any airborne particles do not linger there.'

Assistant Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Scott Wickenden, added: 'While not central to the curriculum, events such as proms are important milestones: they’re part of growing up, moving on, and developing independence and life skills.

'While this is positive news, I’d encourage all staff and students to continue following the basics of public health guidance: maintaining physical distance, keeping up good hand hygiene and ensuring classes are well-ventilated.'

For more information on the latest guidance visit gov.je.

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