Education and public health leaders are today writing to parents in Bury asking secondary school children to wear face coverings when moving around school, and to take regular home Covid tests if they live with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
The move follows a number of outbreaks in both secondary and primary schools in the Borough leading to a considerable number of children and teachers being required to isolation
The measures are to last for four weeks, and be reviewed on 1 November.
Isobel Booler, acting executive director of children’s services, said: “Everyone wants our schools to get back to normal after such a long period of disruption, and for students to get on with their learning in classrooms without restrictions.
“However, the coronavirus infection rate in Bury is remaining stubbornly high, and since the start of September we have had more than 800 cases among our student population.
“Keeping our children safe is our utmost priority, and we so we have reluctantly advised schools to take these measures.”
From Monday, Bury schools will be asking secondary aged children to wear face coverings when moving around the school.
Face coverings lower the risk of spreading the virus if someone has the virus but does not have symptoms. Pupils will not need to wear face coverings while sitting at their desks, while eating or when outside.
Adults who are double vaccinated, and children, do not need to self-isolate if they live with someone who has Covid-19.
However, all students and staff members who live with someone who has Covid-19 are now being asked to take a daily lateral flow test (LFD test) before coming into school (unless exempt from testing).
Pupils should start this testing from the day their household member either became unwell with Covid-19 or tested positive if they did not have symptoms, and continue this for 10 days.
Children are also being strongly recommended to wear a face covering when using public transport, or when sharing a car with people they do not live with, and to sanitise their hands at the beginning and end of every journey.
Councillor Tamoor Tariq, cabinet member for children’s services, young people and skills, said: “It’s essential that our schools are safe environments and that we do all we can to protect our pupils and staff from what is a potentially deadly virus. We need to act to reduce the transmission rate in Bury, and I am fully behind the latest call for extra measures and vigilance.”