NI Executive scraps school bubbles and face coverings in classrooms

Schoolchildren in Northern Ireland will no longer be confined to 'bubbles' and will not have to wear face coverings when they return to education after the summer break.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 5:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th July 2021, 5:38 pm

The change was announced by the Northern Ireland Executive on Thursday evening.

These changes and an array of others will take effect from July 26, provided they are officially approved by the Executive on July 22.

"For the new school year, school “bubbles” and the requirement to wear face coverings in the classroom will be removed from guidance.

Bubbles will cease to exist when children return to school later this year.

"This includes a full return of extracurricular and support activities and youth services," reads a statement issued by the Executive on Thursday evening.

There are also major changes for social distancing and face coverings.

Social distancing

"Where a legal requirement to socially distance exists it will be reduced to one metre for indoors activities and removed for all outdoor activities.

"It is still recommended that social distancing at two metres is maintained where possible and if not, a minimum of one metre is facilitated for indoors events.

"Public transport is exempt from the social distancing requirement however guidance is that it should be one metre unless not possible, in which case other mitigations must be in place," declared the Executive.

In terms of face coverings, they are no longer mandatory in school settings and places of worship.

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