Schools return today with face coverings 'expected'
Mask wearing will enable children to stay in school for face to face teaching.
That's the message from the education minister as students, and teachers, return to the classroom today.
Face coverings are 'expected' in educational settings and are mandatory on public transport including school buses.
The educational contingency plan has now been elevated to suspend interschool and extracurricular activities as well as in school assemblies.
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Julie Edge says the risk of Covid-19 will only be lowered if students, teachers and parents support the mitigation measures:
Meanwhile, the education minister says there are no plans to introduce on-site Covid-19 testing for secondary school students on the Isle of Man.
In the UK new rules mean pupils will be tested for coronavirus on school premises at least once before re-entering the classroom. They're also being urged to do lateral flow testing at home.
Minister Edge says Island students are already doing home tests and that is enough for now:
One MHK says at least half of pupils need to be wearing face coverings in classrooms to limit the spread of Covid-19 in the Island's schools.
Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK, and former teacher, Jason Moorhouse will ask the education minister what's being done to increase face mask wearing in schools at this afternoon's extraordinary sitting of Tynwald.
"Some staff questioned that 20% figure and said it could be even lower in some schools."
Between 20 and 50 per cent of students were said to be wearing masks before the festive break but Mr Moorhouse says that needs to be higher:
Today's extraordinary sitting of Tynwald will begin at 2:30pm.