Boris Johnson tells schools to ditch masks in class


owning Street has told schools to follow the Government’s new guidance on wearing face masks in the classroom after some headteachers told pupils to ignore the latest advice.

The Prime Minister announced on Wednesday that, from Thursday, pupils in secondary schools in England would no longer need to wear face coverings in class as he set out plans to ease all Plan B Covid-19 restrictions by the end of next week.

But some secondary schools in England – particularly those in areas with lower vaccination rates – have said they will encourage students to keep wearing masks indoors as cases of the Omicron variant continue to spread.

Speaking at lunchtime on Friday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mr Johnson believed it was “vital children are receiving face to face education and can enjoy a normal experience in the classroom”.

The spokesman added: “The Prime Minister also thinks the schools should follow the latest guidance. We have been clear we have removed the requirement for face masks to be worn in classrooms and will remove advice for face masks to be worn in communal areas from 27 January.

“Children have been one of the hardest hit as a result of this disruption through the pandemic and we recognise the impact this has had on their education.”

However some London council leaders are urging caution while more than 40 per cent of people in some boroughs remain unvaccinated and schools still suffer teacher shortages caused by Covid.

In Hammersmith and Fulham just 38 per cent of residents aged 12 and over have had a booster dose.

Rules requiring coverings to be worn in indoor communal areas will no longer apply from Thursday next week.


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