Face coverings should be worn by secondary pupils and staff in local lockdown areas of England, and will be at the discretion of secondary schools across the country, after the Government made another U-turn.
The Department for Education (DfE) advised that face coverings should be worn when moving around corridors and communal areas . They will not need to be worn in classrooms, because other protective measures will already be in place and they might affect learning, it added.
Face coverings will not be recommended in schools more widely, the department said, but added that schools will have the discretion to require them to be worn by staff and children in Year 7 and above in communal areas.
The change follows World Health Organisation (WHO) advice that children aged over 12 should wear masks, the Government said.
Just this week Education Secretary Gavin Williamson insisted measures being adopted by schools to limit the spread of coronavirus meant masks were not required.