After Easter, schoolchildren will no longer have to wear masks at school, as it has become known today.
In a written statement to the assembly on Friday, Education Secretary Michelle McKelvin announced an update of the mask-wearing policy.
He said the policy change meant “primary school students [are] It is no longer a good idea to wear a mask on school premises.”
This step is a step forward from the previous recommendation not to wear masks in class.
In a statement, the DUP minister said the change “comes in the context of a broad improvement in the schools’ epidemiological landscape”.
He told MLA: “Members learned that I issued a statement to the association on March 11, 2022 regarding my department’s instructions for the use of face blankets in the classroom.
“You have stated that this evidence will be revised to reflect the fact that as of March 21, 2022, students will not be advised to wear face masks in their classrooms after graduating from elementary school.
“I have now decided that it is appropriate to advise in advance that these instructions will be revised to reflect the fact that after the start of the new school year, after the Easter holiday, it will not be advisable to wear a mask in corridors or closed common areas after primary school.
This means that after graduating from elementary school, students will no longer be advised to wear face masks on the school premises. “As there has been a change in the use of face coverings in the classroom, this additional change is occurring in the context of the greatly improved epidemiological landscape in schools.”
However, the minister added that Covid “continues to spread in our communities and schools and we must continue to take risks” through other mitigation measures to protect all students and staff.
He said, “For this very reason, if anyone wants to continue wearing a face mask at school, I urge them to do so.
“At this point, students are still advised to wear masks when using public transportation or school. This situation is under consideration.”