By Rebecca Black, PA
Face coverings will no longer be required in Northern Ireland’s post-primary schools from next month.
The requirement for pupils to wear face coverings in classrooms was removed on March 21st.
On Friday, Stormont Minister for Education Michelle McIlveen announced that they will not be required on post-primary school premises when pupils return after the Easter break.
In a statement to the Assembly, Ms McIlveen said the further change in policy “takes place in the context of a broadly improving epidemiological landscape in schools”.
However, she warned that the virus is continuing to circulate in communities and schools.
“We should continue to reduce the risks of Covid in our schools through the range of other mitigating measures that remain in place to protect all pupils and staff,” she said.
“It is for this reason that if any individual wishes to continue to use a face covering anywhere at school, I would encourage them to do so.
“At this point pupils will still be recommended to wear a face covering when using public or school transport. This position will be kept under review.”
The Department of Health notified five further deaths of patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19, as well as another 1,910 confirmed cases of the virus.
On Friday morning there were 528 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with seven in intensive care.