26 August Schools, face coverings, and WHO guidelines With schools in England poised to return over the next week or so, the issue of face coverings has received much attention. The current WHO advice is that “children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area.” What are the new rules on face coverings at schools in England? In an update issued during the evening of Tuesday, August 25, by the Department for Education, the government has revised its guidance on face coverings for staff and children in Year 7 or above in England. The government statement reads: While the government is not recommending face coverings are necessary, schools will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas if they believe that is right in their particular circumstances. In addition, and consistent with WHO’s new advice, the government will advise additional measures are taken in areas where the transmission of the virus is high.