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Face coverings expected to be worn in educational settings

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From tomorrow (Tuesday 30 November), all staff, secondary and UCM students, and visitors will be expected to wear face coverings in all of the Island’s educational settings.

This includes attendance at concerts, prize-givings and after school events. Face coverings will be provided to anyone who does not have their own.  

Following Public Health advice, primary school students will not be expected to wear face coverings but students in year 5 and 6 are encouraged to do so.

It follows measures announced yesterday evening by the Chief Minister aimed at limiting the spread of the newly identified Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Julie Edge MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said:

“I fully support this decision and expect all staff, all secondary and UCM students and all visitors to wear a face covering in our educational settings unless there is a medical reason why they are unable to do so.

“Making our educational settings as safe as possible for our staff and students, and maintaining face to face learning both for the immediate and longer-term, are still our key priorities. Attendance at school remains compulsory, and we ask that all parents and carers support us with this approach by helping their children understand the importance of wearing a face covering.

"I want to thank staff, students and their parents for their continued effort and support. Face coverings play an important role in protecting others from any circulating winter illnesses. This approach will be most effective if everyone plays their part.”

All educational settings continue to implement measures to support hands, face, space and fresh air.

All staff plus secondary and UCM students are encouraged to continue to test for COVID-19 at least twice a week using free lateral flow test kits and to ‘know before you go’, to protect themselves and others.

If any student or staff member feels unwell they should notify their school and stay at home. Anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms should call 111 or arrange a PCR test online.