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Highland secondary school pupils could be advised to wear face masks to reduce coronavirus spread

By Val Sweeney

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Cllr John Finlayson.
Cllr John Finlayson.

Secondary school pupils across the Highlands could be asked to wear face masks when moving around schools to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Millburn Academy in Inverness is among those already asking its pupils – except those who are exempted – to wear face coverings in certain situations including when on the bus, moving between classes and in class when asked to by a teacher or pupil support assistant.

The Scottish Government, which is currently consulting teachers and councils, is expected to introduce the use of face coverings in corridors and communal areas of secondary schools.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was acting in response to new guidance from the World Health Organization.

Ministers are also considering whether to make masks mandatory on school transport but not inside classrooms.

John Finlayson, chairman of Highland Council's education committee, is awaiting an update.

"We await the latest advice from the Scottish Government and clearly given the First Minister’s lunchtime statement where she indicated an update on wearing face coverings at school would be forthcoming over the next couple of days, we are expecting advice which supports the wearing of face coverings for senior pupils when moving between classes," he said.

"There are clearly a number of issues still to be decided which will support this including who is responsible for providing masks, the funding of masks and what types of masks can be worn etc.

"We await keenly updates around all of these issues."

Related article: Inverness College strongly recommends students and staff to wear face coverings

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