Update - Prime Minister's end of Plan B
Today, the Prime Minister announced that all Plan B measures will be removed in England, with a full return to Plan A by Thursday 27 January.
In education and childcare settings, this means:
From tomorrow, Thursday 20 January, face coverings are no longer recommended in classrooms and teaching spaces for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above. They were introduced in classrooms at the start of the spring term as a temporary measure.
Although face coverings are not required in classrooms we still expect masks to be worn when inside the school building and when queueing up for the canteen or grab and go, this is in accordance with the Department for Education until 27th January when this will be reviewed.
From Thursday 27 January, face coverings are no longer recommended in communal areas for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above.
This decision comes in response to national infection data showing the prevalence of COVID-19 to be on a downward trajectory. Whilst there are some groups where cases are likely to continue rising, it is likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally. There remains significant pressure on the NHS but hospital admissions have stabilised, and the number of patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU) remain low and are falling.