Pupils attending secondary schools across Gedling borough will need to continue wearing face masks in class when they return after Easter, the Government has said.
It is hoped the precautionary measure will help limit the risk of transmission.
The Department for Education (DfE) expects that face coverings will no longer be required to be worn in classrooms, or in other communal areas, at step 3 of the roadmap, which will be no earlier than May 17th.
Any changes to the policy will be confirmed with one week’s notice following a review of the latest data on infection and vaccination rates, the DfE said.
Secondary school and college pupils have been advised to wear face masks wherever social distancing cannot be maintained, including in class, since March 8, but ministers said the policy would be reviewed.
The latest review of scientific evidence found that – when used correctly – face masks in schools and colleges can reduce the emission of virus-carrying particles when worn by an infected user, alongside rapid tests.
Secondary school and college pupils were asked to take voluntary Covid-19 tests on site over the first fortnight of returning to class.
Now they are being sent home-testing kits to use twice weekly.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Schools and students have done a great job adapting to Covid-secure guidance and working hard to make sure it doesn’t impact learning.
“We obviously all want to get back to facemask-free classrooms and we will do this in line with the latest scientific data while balancing the interests of students, teachers and the wider community.”