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Government announces mandatory use of face masks in English schools

The WHO issued new guidance on 21 August, saying "children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a one-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area".

The English government’s initial response was to stick to its plan to keep English schoolchildren unmasked in ‘small bubbles’, while the Scottish government announced that secondary school pupils would have to wear face coverings when moving through corridors.

However, last night the prime minister announced the mandatory use of face masks in communal areas and corridors of schools in towns and cities where Covid is spreading fast. In other parts of England headteachers will now have discretion over their use.

This is comforting news for those who might be feeling nervous about sending their children back to school again, as even homemade face coverings can protect both the wearer and others from catching the disease.

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