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Mask Mandate In Schools Ends

Class bubbles will be scrapped and masks won't need to be worn in Jersey schools and nurseries anymore from Monday 25 April.

From Monday 9 May, staff and students will be encouraged to take lateral flow tests twice a week instead of every day.

While the rule to wear masks inside public spaces was lifted in February, they still had to be worn in secondary schools because of high levels of Covid infection in the classroom.

Staff in primary schools have also had to wear them.

966 pupils and 86 members of staff tested positive for coronavirus across one week in mid to late January. 

It has gradually reduced since, with just over 100 confirmed cases in schools in the final week before the Easter break.

"I am pleased that we are in a position to reduce COVID-19 measures in education and childcare settings, in line with guidance for the wider community. The updated policy follows consultation with the Deputy Medical Officer for Health, Public Health officials, and briefings with CYPES stakeholders have also taken place.

I would like to give thanks to schools and nurseries for all their hard work and commitment throughout the pandemic. Staff and students have had to adapt massively over the past two years, and although the pandemic is not over, it is an important step forward as we reduce measures and move forward to a new normal, allowing students and young people to enjoy greater freedoms." - Deputy Scott Wickenden, Education Minister.

The government says guidance to maintain good hygiene and ventilation is still in place - and it retains the option of bringing back mask-wearing and bubbles if it's needed.

The legal requirement for people to isolate if they test positive for Covid-19 remains in place.

It was extended until the end of April because of an increase in positive cases, caused in most part by a new sub-variant of Omicron.

There are 725 active cases of coronavirus in Jersey. Nine of them are in hospital.

Dr. Ivan Muscat, the Deputy Medical Officer of Health, says this is a proportionate move given the reduction in cases across the island and in schools.

"I’d like to thank parents, teachers, and students for their continued support to keep the spread of COVID-19 at a minimum within education settings. In the first 2 weeks following the return from the Easter break, students are encouraged to continue with daily LFTs. Thereafter, Public Health guidance will be reducing the frequency of LFT testing to twice weekly.

I would also like to encourage parents and carers to review the information about vaccination for children if they have not already done so and consider getting their child vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect them against future variants and waves of infection.

Even if your child has previously been infected with COVID-19, it is still very important to consider vaccination as this will ensure they have the best possible protection. Vaccination has been the key tool to get us to the stage we are at now and keeping up to date with the vaccination programme will continue to keep us safe."

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