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Face coverings in schools

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With the country reverting back to Plan A, and face coverings no longer being required within the classroom or communal areas at school, we’ve been asked this week whether the high number of positive cases in Devon mean that pupils will still need to carry on wearing coverings in the classroom.

Public Health Directors across the south west collectively agreed last autumn that the high case rates in the region at that time warranted advice to all schools encouraging the wearing of face coverings in communal areas.

But the government’s relaxation of rules, reverting back to Plan A, means Public Health Directors now need to seek national agreement for this to happen. So, Devon schools are not being asked to adopt additional measures over and above schools nationally. 

However when there are outbreaks of COVID-19 within schools additional measures will be recommended by the public health team to help reduce the risk of transmission and this can include the wearing of face coverings in communal areas or, in exceptional circumstances, classrooms. Schools are also continuing to follow preventative measures: promoting vaccination take-up for eligible students and staff; maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes; keeping occupied spaces well ventilated; and following public health advice on testing and managing confirmed cases of coronavirus.