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Proportionate protective measures in place for new school year

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Schools and University College Isle of Man (UCM) will maintain proportionate protective measures such as increased ventilation and extra hygiene precautions when students return next month in line with Public Health advice.

In addition, carbon dioxide monitors will be installed in classrooms to support enhanced ventilation.

With attendance compulsory, secondary school and UCM students and staff, including primary school staff, are encouraged to wear face coverings in school buildings and buses, and take two lateral flow tests each week at home.

These groups are asked to start using the Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) during the week before they return to face-to-face lessons, and anyone who receives a positive result should isolate immediately and book a PCR test online or by calling 111.

The kits are easy to use and can be ordered online or collected from any pharmacy.

It is hoped these measures will mitigate against the risks of COVID-19 which is still circulating in the community, and ensure schools remain open for face-to-face education.

If any student feels unwell or develops any COVID-19 symptoms, they should not attend school but stay home, notify their school and follow the latest public health advice.

A Department of Education, Sport and Culture spokesperson, said:

'The return of schools and UCM is a huge moment for students and education staff, who have all shown enormous resilience over the past 18 months. This is the third academic year to be affected, and we want to do all we can to ensure everyone feels safe.


'We are working closely with Public Health and will regularly review the measures and recommendations to give our young people the best chance to fulfil their potential.'

Dr Henrietta Ewart, Director of Public Health, said:

'As we look ahead to the winter, pressures on health and social care are likely to increase, so we ask people to make sensible decisions to protect themselves and others.


'While the vaccination programme has substantially increased our collective defence, COVID-19 is still a very real threat so always think hands, face, space and fresh air.'

The vaccination programme has recently been extended to 16 and 17 year-olds, and 12 to 15 year-olds who are clinically vulnerable or live with someone who has a reduced ability to fight infections.