Pupils in Scotland and Northern Ireland now should put on face masks in faculty corridors and communal areas to cut back the danger of coronavirus transmission.
The new guidelines, which kick in at this time, apply to all kids over 12 in Scotland – and on faculty transport for main pupils 5 and above.
In Northern Ireland, post-primary pupils and academics will even should put on face coverings in corridors and communal areas. Masks on faculty buses are strongly really useful however not mandatory.
Face coverings aren’t mandatory in school rooms in both nation.
Scottish faculties reopened on 11 August and the more durable line on masks comes after 17 members of workers and two pupils lately examined constructive for COVID-19 at a faculty in Dundee.
In England, the federal government made a U-turn final week when it determined that masks must be mandatory in secondary faculties – however solely in areas the place lockdown measures are in place attributable to a rise in native circumstances.
The change got here after strain from headteachers, educating unions and medical consultants.
“What we’re saying is if you’re in a school where there is a ‘hot spot’ then it probably does make sense in confined areas outside the classroom to use a face coverings in the corridor and elsewhere,” mentioned Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jenny Harries, mentioned lately that proof on whether or not kids over 12 ought to put on masks in faculties was “not strong”.
But Mr Johnson mentioned the federal government had modified tack to observe the most recent World Health Organisation recommendation.
The Welsh authorities has solely really useful face coverings in communal areas of secondary faculties the place social distancing just isn’t attainable.
The recommendation additionally applies to pupils over 11 on faculty transport, together with school college students and workers.
It would require faculties and native authorities to hold out threat assessments of their websites to find out if the two-metre rule can’t be maintained.
The new guidelines come as a survey discovered 9 in 10 academics consider they will not be capable to socially distance from each pupils and different workers.
The Tes ballot of 6,000 faculty workers in England – which occurred on the finish of final time period – discovered 86% believed minimising contact between pupils wouldn’t be attainable, whereas two thirds (66%) thought steerage to keep away from busy corridors, entrances and exits was unrealistic.
A 3rd felt the federal government strategy to coronavirus security in faculties left them “at risk”.