Thursday 1 October, 2020

Education Ministry amends COVID-19 Directive for masks at school

Child wearing a protective face mask (Stock photo)

Child wearing a protective face mask (Stock photo)

Students and teachers who have returned to the classroom already can breathe easier without their masks once they remain six feet apart.

The Ministry of Education has changed its stance on face coverings during class time.

According to a press release issued today (June 17), it will no longer be mandatory for students and teachers who have returned to school to wear face masks while physical distancing in the classroom.

Related Article

Acting Chief Education Officer, Joy Adamson stated there were some concerns about the length of time students are expected to keep on the masks.

However, she emphasized that masks are to be worn at all other times as students have a scheduled break on their half-day timetable.

Adamson said the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training has consulted with Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Anton Best, who informed the Ministry that the aspect of the Guidelines for the Safe Reopening of Schools in Barbados, which states: "Enforce the wearing of face masks at all times while on the compound", would be amended.

She added that the Ministry of Health and Wellness recommends the following:

“In circumstances when children are stationary and physically distant - six feet apart - from each other such as in the classroom or during examinations, fabric face coverings or face masks may be removed.”

The Acting Chief said the amendment also applied to teachers.

Secondary school students completing or doing SBAs for CXC returned to school last week, while Class Four primary school pupils preparing for the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination started school on Monday.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: