Posted on Wednesday 12th May 2021
Face masks will no longer be required in secondary school classrooms in England after 17 May, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed.
Face coverings have been recommended since the return to school in March - but that will end as part of the phasing out of lockdown measures.
There have been concerns that masks obstruct communicating and learning.
But head teachers warned the decision to remove masks was "hard to reconcile" with the evidence on safety.
The prime minister's briefing also confirmed the return of students to university campuses in England from 17 May - although surveys suggest that in practice most students have already returned to their term-time addresses.
About half of students have been studying online since January - and they will be able to return to face-to-face teaching, although some courses might already have effectively stopped teaching by this stage of the university year.
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Face coverings will no longer be compulsory in England's secondary school classrooms from 20 January.