Masks will have to be worn much more in Gibraltar schools as nearly 100 staff and students were forced into self-isolation recently.

With Westside School reporting new cases earlier this week, across the courtyard Bayside has now also moved into double figures.

The ninth, tenth and eleventh cases were reported at Bayside school, which have led to 73 staff members and pupils being forced into self-isolation.

St Bernard’s Lower Primary reported its fourth case, sending home two workers and 22 students.

A new case at St Martin’s school had no close contact with anyone else as the individual is from the same bubble as the second and third cases from earlier this week.

Masking up

As a result of increased numbers at schools recently, the education department has agreed with the NASUWT teachers’ union and Public Health Gibraltar on more mask wearing at schools.

“In primary schools, children and staff will not be required to wear masks,” said the Department of Education.

“However, any child or staff member who would like to wear a mask can do so.

“We do not recommend that Nursery and Reception-aged children or pupils in St Martin’s School wear masks.”

The only exception to this rule is when staff are lunchtime workers or children are in air-conditioned areas.

“Masks are required to be worn by all staff and students when circulating around the school building or educational setting,” the Government continued.

“This includes any podiums and entry staircases into the school grounds.

“It is compulsory for all individuals to wear a mask whilst they are in the corridors, stairwells, toilets and all circulation spaces within the school.”

Masks still do not need to be worn in any lessons, including in PE, Music, Drama or Dance where students might need to move around.

Neither do masks need to be worn in outdoor playgrounds or when children are sitting down to each lunch in school canteens.

Only Year 12/13 and Gibraltar College students need to wear masks at all times, including at lessons and in examinations other than for lunch.

These new rules will come into force from November 23 onwards as the Rock moves into a hard winter with the COVID-19 virus.

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