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Face masks no longer mandatory in high school classrooms

Face masks will still be required as staff and pupils move around school communal areas.
Face masks will still be required as staff and pupils move around school communal areas.

High school pupils are no longer required to wear facemasks in classrooms after Scottish Government Covid rules are relaxed from today.

Pupils will still be required to wear coverings as they move about in school common areas such as corridors or during school assemblies.

Restrictions around transition visits for both primary and secondary schools are also to be eased.

Call to remain vigilant

Removing face coverings in classrooms is a “positive milestone” for high school pupils and staff, but continued vigilance is essential to beat Covid-19, education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville has said.

Following the first minster’s announcement earlier this month, updated guidance for schools comes into force today.

The guidance is clear that teachers and pupils who wish to continue to wear a face covering in the classroom will be fully supported in doing so.

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville.

Ms Somerville said: “The last two years have been really tough for our children and young people.

“Teachers and support staff have also had to operate in a challenging environment, but all have worked incredibly hard to deliver a quality learning experience for pupils.

“The removal of the requirement to wear face coverings in classrooms is a positive milestone – it signals the possibility of a brighter future where schools can regain some normality.

“And of course, pupils and staff who continue to choose to wear face coverings in class will be supported in doing so.

Covid has not gone away

“We must not to forget that Covid-19 has not gone away – we all still need to be on our guard and exercise caution. Pupils and staff must still wear face coverings in communal areas and distancing rules still apply.

“The last thing I want it to have measures in place for a minute longer than is necessary, but as we have done throughout this pandemic, we will continue to be guided by scientific and expert advice,” she added.

The updated guidance on face masks in schools comes on the same day that the Covid vaccine passport scheme has been scrapped.

People attending certain events and venues were required to show their vaccine status, but it will now be down to individual establishments to decide whether they ask to see them or not.

The change was widely welcomed, with hospitality bosses saying it would help them focus on moving forward after struggles of the pandemic.

 

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