Nadhim Zahawi has said that secondary school students will wear masks “not for more than a day.”

In the aftermath of the Omicron outbreak, the education secretary defended the practice of wearing masks in classrooms.

A “painful lesson” from earlier closures has made ministers determined to keep schools open.

In addition, Mr Zahawi assured that recent Covid data does not suggest new curbs are needed.

In England, all secondary pupils will be tested before returning to school this week.

After days of inconsistent supplies of rapid tests, ministers assured schools that kits will be available as needed and said pupils should test twice a week.

Mr Zahawi announced that students in secondary schools in England will have to cover their faces during classroom lessons until 26 January, when Plan B measures will expire.

After Omicron cases surged, experts recommended the move.

In England, where students will begin returning to schools for the new term later this week, the new on-site testing rules are in effect.

As early as early 2021, the government will provide a different supply line for schoolchildren’s tests than those for the general public.

To allow schools to prepare for the testing, the government has been communicating with schools since “late last year.”

Concerns about staffing

Mr Zahawi responded to questions about further restrictions by saying there is “nothing in the data that gives me any concern that we need to go beyond where we are now.” He added existing Plan B curbs would be reviewed on Wednesday.

A wave of sickness and isolation among school staff linked to a variant of Omicron coronavirus has raised concerns that schools will not be able to provide face-to-face instruction to all pupils.

Similarly, Scottish children – who already wear masks in lessons – and Northern Ireland students are also required to test twice a week.

In Wales, the government has urged staff and students to take tests three times a week before the start of the new semester. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said “regular testing is an essential way to support schools and protect face-to-face teaching.” Ministers also urged students to come forward for a Covid vaccine, a second dose or a booster, depending on their age. In addition to the tests, Zahawi has promised 7,000 additional air purification units in addition to the 1,000 already announced, as well as 350,000 CO2 monitors for schools. Teachers who had left the profession or retired were asked to return as temporary support, and all 1215-year-olds were asked to receive both doses of the vaccine with older children who were asked to receive their vaccines. reminder. But fictitious Labor Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson slammed ministers for throwing slow jabs at schoolchildren. He said nearly two million 1217-year-old students still had not been vaccinated and the government had missed “the opportunity to anticipate the virus, and it is killing our children.”

Staff shortages are causing significant disruptions in other industries and sectors:

Four Lincolnshire hospitals declare a critical incident

There is a temporary timetable in place for ScotRail in Scotland

if absences worsen there will be closures of shops and restaurants

Despite the impact of record infections, government ministers this weekend resisted suggestions that further restrictions on the coronavirus would be needed in the coming weeks. Cabinet Minister Steve Barclay said the government believes significant changes in behavior among members of the public mean further restrictions. useless.

“The widespread use of testing is an illustration that the British public are taking sensible steps to keep themselves safe to keep their friends and family safe,” Mr Barclay said.

England’s current Plan B restrictions will expire on January 26, although a review is expected in the coming days. England and Wales recorded 137,583 daily cases and 73 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test on Sunday. Figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to be updated after the bank holiday weekend. The latest figures for England are down from the 162,572 new cases reported on Saturday, a record number for the fifth day in a row.


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