Secondary teachers and students will have to wear face coverings when schools re-open
Minister for Education Norma Foley has confirmed that teachers and students in secondary schools will have to wear face coverings in certain situations when schools re-open later this month.
The Minister had been working with the public health authorities to ensure that the public health advice underpinning the safe reopening of schools is fully up to date.
Face covering guidance had been missing from earlier guidelines on the re-opening framework for schools.
This evening, the Minister said: "It is now recommended that teachers and secondary school students wear face coverings, similar to those worn in shops or on public transport, when a physical distance of two metres cannot be maintained."
It is understood in certain classrooms or smaller schools, the two-metre distance will not be possible at all times.
More funding was also announced today to help schools with re-opening preparations. Minister Foley 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.”