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New guidance on face coverings in Scottish secondary schools expected

Staff and pupils in secondary schools across Scotland are expected to be required to wear face coverings when moving between classrooms.

If the new rules – which are in the final stages of consultation – come into force, it means both pupils and teachers will be required to wear them in corridors and communal areas.

It will not apply to classrooms as there is more scope for social distancing, said the First Minister.

It comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued new guidance on face coverings in schools.

It said young people over 12 in schools, where physical distancing is not possible and in areas of high transmission, face coverings should be recommended.

Speaking today, during the daily briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said the education secretary is in the final stages of consulting with teachers and local authorities.

She said: “We are consulting on this specific measure because, firstly mixing between different groups is more likely in corridors and communal areas increasing the potential for transmission.

“Secondly, crowding and close contact in these areas is more likely, voices could be raised resulting in greater potential for aerosol transmission.

“And finally, there is often less scope for effective ventilation in these areas.”

Changes to the position of face coverings on school transport are also being considered, however, Ms Sturgeon added “we are not currently consulting on any proposals to wear face coverings in classrooms” due to greater scope for social distancing and the impact the coverings may have on teaching and learning.

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