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15 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

No plans to give out PPE in schools, government says

By Samuel Horti

The government has no plans to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) in schools, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman says the government is only recommending wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces where people come into contact with strangers, and that “schools do not fall into that category”. 

“It is rare for a teacher to have to wear PPE. They should only be worn if providing close-contact care for a child with symptoms. [However] any child with symptoms shouldn’t be going into school in the first place,” he said.

“Safety comes first, but we also need to be aware of the potential damage to a child’s education from not getting them back in the classroom.”

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The government is on a collision course with teachers’ unions over plans to restart primary schools on 1 June. Unions say teachers will not be adequately protected from catching coronavirus while at work.

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