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Children: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 55643, tabled on 4 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether schoolchildren will be required to wear face masks on school transport and buses during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

12 June 2020

On 4 June, the Government announced that, as of Monday 15 June, face coverings should be used on public transport. This does not mean surgical masks, which we must keep for clinical settings. It means the kind of face covering you can easily make at home. There will be exceptions to the rule for some children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties.

We do not require children to wear face coverings on school transport, but they can wear one if they wish. School transport is provided specifically for the purpose of ensuring that children can attend school. It is limited to children travelling to school, and their travel assistants where necessary. Children do not travel on school transport at the same time as members of the public. The transport is arranged by local authorities for a planned number of children which means demand for services can be managed in a way which is not possible on public transport. This will allow children to maintain a 2 metre distance from other children not in their household, wherever possible. Additionally, school transport often carries the same children on a regular basis, which helps to reduce any risk of transmission.

Children should follow the Department for Transport’s guidance on wearing face coverings when travelling on public transport. The guidance is available here: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers.