Face coverings to be worn in classrooms again as a ‘temporary measure’ amid Omicron spread

Covid measures in schools

New air filters for schools with poor ventilation and temporary face covering measures are being introduced for pupils returning to the classroom this week.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has announced an additional 7,000 air cleaning units will be provided to early years, schools and colleges to improve ventilation in teaching spaces and the Government is temporarily recommending that face coverings are worn in classrooms and teaching spaces for students in year 7 or above, in light of the Omicron variant spread.

The advice is short term and will be in place until the January 26, when Plan B regulations are currently scheduled to expire, at which point it will be reviewed.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Being in the classroom is undoubtedly the very best place for children and I’m looking forward to welcoming pupils back next week to continue their face-to-face learning, which is so important for their education and wellbeing.

“There is no doubt that the Omicron variant presents challenges but the entire education sector has responded with a Herculean effort, and for that I thank each and every one of you.”.

Ofsted has confirmed that it will not be inspecting secondary schools during the first week of term in January, as schools undertake on-site pupil testing.

Ofsted will also encourage early years settings, schools and colleges that are significantly impacted by COVID-related staff absence to ask for their inspection to be deferred.



  1. Seven thousand air extraction units for hundreds of thousands of classrooms is going to be very ineffective.
    Wakey wakey Boris.

    Ex teachers are being asked to return to teaching, have the government not realised how many criminal records checks this will involve? At the best of times this can take several weeks, and the system is currently overwhelmed.
    Wakey wakey Boris.

    If you work in a secondary school, and have six lessons per day (some may only have five), and you have approximately 30 students in each class, that’s 180 interactions per day, much more than any GP or NHS worker. Yes, I imagine thousands will be returning to school to teach.
    Wakey wakey Boris.

    • Still a lot less interactions than those in retail, where the maskless ones young and old wander around coughing without covering their mouths!

      All we hear is about the “poor” NHS workers or teachers.

      Well there are hundreds of thousands of retail staff on the front line constantly getting abuse or having their personal space invaded.

      So forgive us for laughing at the 180 interactions when we have to deal with that in less than 30mins some days!

      The Covid world doesn’t revolve around the NHS/Teachers like they’d want you to believe!.

      • Hey Cotes, I absolutely agree with what you say, retail workers (especially the large supermarkets), have a much greater chance of catching it, compared to NHS workers, but are not recognised and treated as heroes, unlike the NHS.

        I was trying to make the point that even teachers (you can probably tell I am one), have far more interactions than any GP, or workers in a hospital setting.

      • I can’t understand why NHS workers were given priority in places like Tesco queues, many of them have been operating on a reduced timetable, seeing fewer people each day, yet most other occupations have had to carry on as normal.

        • Agreed, why were people like secretaries, and similar positions in hospitals, able to go to the front of the queue? So much unfairness compared to other occupations, such as retail and teachers.

          I am not disrespecting those doctors/nurses who worked on Covid wards, they really are heroes. I spent some time on a Covid ward, and those nurses are right up close to your face, giving help knowing that everyone there is confirmed Covid.

          A big thank you, and well done to those nurses.

  2. And how will schools determine which classrooms have poor ventilation? Where are all the CO2 monitors that were promised?
    Scientists have been urging for a year for better ventilation especially in classrooms. What has the government done so far?

  3. The government have given lucrative contracts to their business mates raking it in for all the extra equipment ordered throughout this pandemic. That’s what they have done.

  4. Masks are ineffective as many top medical professionals and scientists have being saying in the last year and a half (censored by the mainstream). Some detailed work in the link below. It is also a crime against humanity to impose them on children. It’s always been a torture tool of submission and fear. The behavioural scientists know exactly what they are doing on this. Click the hypnosis fear button again. Parents should say enough is enough if they want to look after their children’s mental health. That’s why more and more seem to be home schooling while this madness goes on. Link: https://meehanmd.com/articles/post/173679/an-evidence-based-scientific-analysis-of-why-masks-are-ineffective-unnecessary-and-harmful?fbclid=IwAR0ezV4RaYF00xgPHTr6fWz-t3rtV3u1Aw2DoOrUjGAxun4meZBM7v6JJTQ

    • Has this “detailed work” been peer reviewed, or published in an academic journal?
      Following your advice,, I did my own research, and discovered this about Dr J Meehan:
      “Moukawsher also refused to accept as an expert Dr. James Meehan Jr., an ophthalmologist from Oklahoma. The state had sought to disqualify Meehan in part based on his past statements that mask mandates were “about symbolism, fear, and psychological operations to control the population.” The state also objected to his marketing and profit from vitamin sales as an alternative to face masks.”

      • Those trying to shout down inconvenient truths with dodgy slurs just reveal more about themselves every day Andrew. You presumably know that at the start both Sage and the CDC said masks were ineffective for the public. But behavioural scientists love the fear tool – well documented. If you’re not frightened enough, you are a threat to any corrupt system.

  5. It’s really a bit much calling the wearing of facemasks “a crime against humanity. Where does Democrat find these extraordinary phrases?

    • Yes, I don’t quite get how wearing a mask in a shop or on public transport is some massive deprivation of civil liberties, unlike forced vaccinations, the current 10PM-5AM house arrest curfews for all in parts of Canada etc.

      • No one is forcing you to have a vaccination.
        Thankfully, many of us have had the jab willingly. This means that although reported infections are now 200,000 a day and rising, serious illness and deaths are mercifully relatively small.

        • At the moment-but if the 100 Tories hadn’t rebelled it would likely be on the cards, or even law by now. Let us not forget this is the same Boris who not that many years ago scoffed at ID cards/passports & said they would end up ground down on his cornflakes, he tried to introduce them for nightspots etc & then backed down from pressure. Then he snuck them in without a debate in parliament a couple of months later-purely due to those great defenders of people’s rights-Labour & Lib Dems. Many other countries have sadly mandated it & like the twot running New Zealand gleefully laugh about creating a two tier apartheid state.

          The infection number is irrelevant with Omicron-it is the thing being highlighted by the NHS to try to keep the panicdemic going. The NHS has contributed a third of people in hospital-who actually went in with non Covid issues-only for the NHS to then test them & declare they were/are Covid patients & to infect others with it by putting them on Covid wards-also killing some of those, along with the many who died with Covid-though not necessarily with it, to inflate the figures.

          Ha-serious illness & deaths as I & others here have been saying for over a month now are due to the milder strain taking over-70% less people needing to go to hospital, far less deaths etc as the evidence from South Africa showed-the evidence ignored by the UK government, NHS & media. But keep panicking & we shall see what wheeze the NHS, Pfizer, Moderna etc can come up with now to keep the jabs for healthy people & restrictions coming in 2022. Omicron is the biggest enemy of the drug companies as natural resistance from such a mild strain would be a great thing, but not for their bank balance of course. The only ones who need protecting are in reality the elderly & vulnerable.

  6. Are NZ politicians “gleefully laughing” or is this just another of the over-dramatic language used by conspiracy theorists in their attempts to play on people’s emotions?

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