Secondary aged pupils and staff are being encouraged to continue wearing face coverings in school to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Face coverings were mandatory in communal areas in secondary schools for a number of months, though the move to step 3 of the Government's road map out of lockdown removed this requirement.

However, following the emergence of new variants of Covid-19, the City of Wolverhampton Council wrote to headteachers last month recommending that face coverings continue to be worn in the city’s schools. The council reviewed the situation during the half term break and, in light of rising infection rates in other parts of the country, is asking the city’s schools to continue encouraging the wearing of face coverings for a while longer.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "We said as a council we would review, during half term, our stance on wearing face coverings in schools. Our rates are low in Wolverhampton and while this is welcome news we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that rates in neighbouring areas are increasing, partly due to the new, more transmissible Delta variant. 

"These cases are predominantly amongst young people who are still at school and those aged 20 to 29.

“Additionally, given the indoor mixing that will have taken place over half term, based on public health advice we believe it is prudent for schools to continue to encourage the wearing of face coverings in classrooms until the Government is clear about the further lifting of restrictions later this month.

“In the meantime, I'd also like to encourage parents and carers to carry on wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing when they are on the school run, and for family members to get a free rapid Covid-19 test twice a week so that they can be reassured that they don't have the virus. Everyone should also get their life saving Covid-19 vaccination as soon as they are able to, to protect themselves and others.”

More information on rapid testing, including advice about how to take the test at home, is available at Lateral Flow Home Test Kits.