What are the new rules on face masks in the classroom?

School Guide unmasks the new guidelines on face coverings in schools

Do pupils have to wear face masks for PE?

What is 'double masking' and should your child do it? 

Are face masks compulsory in all classrooms from 8 March? 


When PM Boris Johnson accounced all schools would reopen on March 8, there were some key changes to guidance for schools including the mandatory wearing of masks in classroom for secondary school pupils. 

The guidelines state: 

"We now recommend [in secondary schools] that face coverings should be worn in classrooms or during activities unless social distancing can be maintained."

This has been updated from the advice in place for the autumn term which only required masks to be worn when moving around the school or in larger group settings. 


Are masks compulsory in all classrooms? 

No, from the 8 March the new guidance only applies to secondary schools. 

Does it mean masks in PE lessons? 

No, the Association for Physical Education has highlighted that this does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons.

Will mask exemptions still apply, for example if a child suffers from asthma? 

Yes, schools will have discretion to issue exemption permits based on a prior medical knowledge or evidenced medical need. 

What is 'double-masking' and do parents need to send their children back with two masks? 

A new research paper is being shared among parents who are concerned that single masks don't offer sufficient protection when in close proximity to others for longer periods, and that 'doubling masking' is the way to take exposure to risky particles down by 83%.


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