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24 August 2020, 15:26
New rules on face coverings in Scotland could see pupils asked to wear them in corridors and communal areas at school.
Pupils at high schools in Scotland may soon be asked to wear face coverings in communal areas and corridors.
According to the BBC, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that she's acting in response to new guidance from the World Health Organisation.
The government is said to be in the 'final stages' of consultations with teachers and councils to introduce the new measure.
Schools in Scotland reopened their doors earlier this month with no rules about face coverings.
Currently, their use is voluntary, but many schools have advised their students and staff to wear them.
Ms Sturgeon has confirmed that Education Secretary John Swinney is "in the final stage of consulting teachers and local authorities for the use of face coverings in secondary schools when moving around corridors and communal areas".
She also said that Ministers are considering whether to make face masks mandatory on school transport, but added there are no plans to ask pupils to wear them in classrooms.
Speaking about classrooms, she added: "There is greater scope for physical distancing in classrooms and [face coverings] are more likely to interfere with teaching and learning.
"The best way to ensure schools can stay open safely is for all of us to play our part in keeping transmission rates in the community as low as possible."
She said that the move will be confirmed 'over the next few days', adding: "We are not talking about a mandatory system in the sense of there being penalties and enforcement in schools. I get the sense that schools - while I accept there will be a mixture of opinion around it - are themselves looking to follow this kind of approach.
"We will set out the detail when we get to the point of finalising the recommendation."