Masks will NOT be compulsory when schools return – and neither will ‘regular’ tests

Following the announcement that schools will return on March 8, the Schools Minister has said masks will not be compulsory – and nor will ‘regular’ Covid tests.

By Sam Ward
Thursday, 25th February 2021, 2:05 pm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined as part of his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown that schools around the country will return on March 8.

However, there will be a lot of change in the classrooms – with Education Secretary Gavin Williamson informing the House of Commons today, February 25, that exam results for GCSE, AS and A Level students will be under the discretion of their subject teachers.

It was also announced that there would be a programme of ‘mass testing’ at schools.

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A mother helps her daughter put on a mask (Photo by DESIREE MARTIN / AFP) (Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

According to Gov.UK, primary school staff will continue to take two rapid COVID-19 tests each week at home, while all secondary school and college students will take three COVID-19 tests as they return to the classroom at existing school testing facilities.

However, schools minister Nick Gibb has now said that the testing will not be compulsory, but ‘highly recommended’.

Nick Gibb told LBC: "We highly recommend it. It's a way of identifying people who have the virus but don't show symptoms and it's a way of protecting other students and teachers within the school and we hope that every student will get tested."

The wearing of face coverings, as seen in shops, will also not be compulsory, but, again, ‘highly recommended’.

He said on BBC Breakfast: “We are saying it is not mandatory for schools to have masks in classrooms but it is highly recommended because we want to do everything we can to reduce the risk of transmission in the school.”