Primary school pupils WON'T have to wear face masks as Government overrules London council which snubbed official advice

PRIMARY school kids won’t have to wear face masks after the Government overruled a London council which snubbed official Covid guidance.

Redbridge Council in East London, wrote to all 56 primaries under its control advising that face coverings should be worn by kids when they return on March 8.

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Children from Reception up to Year Six were told to wear the masks "in all areas of the school" and are only allowed to take them off while eating.

But Downing Street today hit back, saying that young pupils should not be asked to wear the coverings when kids return next week.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said that officials have been in contact with Redbridge Council following their advice.


They said: "Children in primary schools should not be asked to wear face coverings when they return to school on March 8.

"Face coverings are only necessary for pupils in Year 7 and above.

"The Department for Education are in contact with the local council on that matter."

Redbridge became the first council to instruct all its primaries to introduce mandatory mask wearing.

In January, the council wrote to school bosses urging them to adopt the policy “given the increased transmissibility of the new Covid variants”.


But, at the time, only vulnerable children and those with key worker parents were attending schools.

Jas Athwal, of Redbridge Council, on Monday said the advice to primaries remains unchanged.

He said: “We have provided comprehensive advice to our schools. In some cases, where we have gone beyond the DfE advice, we have used the advice from Independent Sage.

“We have advised primary schools to encourage the use of face coverings indoors, as per the Independent Sage advice that pupils at both primary and secondary should be encouraged to wear a face covering indoors as one of a range of health and safety measures.”

This is not the first time Redbridge has gone against Government advice.

In December, with the area suffering some of England's worst Covid rates, the council backed schools to close early for the festive holidays in a snub to Number 10's guidance at the time.


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