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Boris abandons advice against pupils wearing face masks in schools

Boris Johnson has dropped government advice against pupils wearing face masks in English schools as they return to the classroom in September.

The Prime Minister made the U-turn this evening just days before schools in England reopen in September. A statement issued by the Department for Education said the decision was the result of a change in World Health Organisation (WHO) advice – despite it taking place four days ago.

The WHO said on August 21 that children aged 12 and over ‘should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults’, particularly when they could not guarantee a one-metre distance from others and there is ‘widespread transmission in the area’.

Headteachers will have discretion over whether they require face masks among their pupils, unless the school is in an area currently in a local lockdown, a senior government source told The Guardian.

It comes just as the Scottish government confirmed that students in Scotland would have to wear face coverings in corridors, communal areas and school buses from next Monday.

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