It’s difficult to know if there will be a change on the government guidance regarding the adoption of facemasks in schools.
At present there is no requirement for facemasks to be worn in schools, but teachers have been told to wear them if they are in contact with a child displaying any symptoms of coronavirus.
Under the current guidelines Children under the age of 11 are already exempt from wearing facemasks. In Scotland, all children aged five and over must have their faces covered whilst in shops.
However, as we have seen with much of the guidance there is potential for things to change depending on the science and the extent to which we get the virus under control.
In some European countries school children must wear face masks. In Germany face masks are compulsory for both teachers and pupils. In Spain, 11-18 year-olds have been told they must be worn when the 1.5-2 meter distancing cannot be maintained. In France, masks must be worn by teachers if they are one meter or less away from a student. Schools in Italy are currently shut until September and the rules there have yet to be announced.
More recently a study of nearly 65,000 people in South Korea suggests that school re-openings could potentially trigger more outbreaks. The study found that whilst under 10’s transmit virus much less often than adults there was not a zero risk. However, the study further found those between the ages of 10-19 can spread virus at least as well as adults do.
The findings suggest that as schools reopen, communities will see clusters of infection take root that include children of all ages, several experts cautioned. “I fear that there has been this sense that kids just won’t get infected or don’t get infected in the same way as adults and that, therefore, they’re almost like a bubbled population,” said Michael Osterholm, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Minnesota. “There will be transmission,” Dr Osterholm said. “What we have to do is accept that now and include that in our plans.”
With so many unknowns about the virus, in particular its origins, it might be considered a good idea by some parents for children to start wearing them. Since they seem to be something that will be with us for the foreseeable future getting your child used to the novelty of wearing a face covering early could prevent some tantrums later. Coverd has a selection of cool camo washable facemasks all of which come with adjustable earloops helping to fit onto a smaller face.