The Minister for Education has today announced that teachers and students in secondary schools will be required to wear a face mask where a 2m distance is not possible.
New guidelines on reopening schools have been published to state that students at post primary level, apart from specific exemptions, will be required to wear face coverings in the classrooms when a physical distance of two metres cannot be maintained.
HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre has also recommended that staff at both primary and post primary levels will be required to wear face coverings under these circumstances.
All staff and students using the post-primary school transport service will also be required to wear face coverings on the bus.
Face coverings are recommended that are reusable and washed once every day, similar to guidelines in shops and public transport.
The Department of Education said the revision of guidelines have been updated “to reflect the latest research and expertise.”
On the updated plans, Minister for Education Norma Foley TD said: “Last week we announced a comprehensive plan that will support our schools to reopen for the new school year. This week I am pleased to announce that a considerable portion of the funding due to schools has been paid, allowing schools to make vital progress in making the changes that are needed to safely reopen.
“For example, €102 million in funding has already issued to primary and post-primary schools to carry out minor works to create more space in the classroom or install additional handwashing stations. Funding has already been made available for schools to hire aides to help reconfigure classrooms and install hand sanitising stations. Guidance has also been circulated to schools detailing how they can best access PPE and hand sanitiser supplies.
“I wish to thank again all members of school staff and parents for the roles they are playing and will continue to play as schools return at the end of August. We will continue to communicate with schools, education partners, parents and students, as schools reopen, and keep a close eye to ensure that the supports are working as intended.”