Face coverings not needed for home-to-school

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Following the temporary introduction of new measures as a result of the Omicron variant, the Government re-introduced the legal requirement that face coverings must be worn on public transport, but has clarified in an updated document that the requirement does not apply in education settings or on dedicated home to school transport.

However, it emphasised that face coverings help to protect the wearer and others against the spread of infection and said that children and young people aged 11 and over, unless they are exempt, should wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated transport to and from secondary school or college. Education establishments were advised that they should consider what action you can take to encourage compliance with this recommendation.

The Department for Education said it no longer recommends maximising distancing and minimising mixing, but stated that unnecessary risks such as overcrowding on school transport should be minimised. As part of contingency planning should an outbreak occur, the Government advised that establishments may wish to consider whether to temporarily reinstate any measures previously in place to reduce mixing on transport. It added that it did not expect the additional dedicated school transport that was put in place to ease pressure on public transport during the 2020/21 school year to be needed in the future, but said the situation will be kept under review.