The government has today confirmed that face coverings should continue to be worn in secondary school and college classrooms when students return after the Easter break.

The move, described as a 'cautionary measure', is aimed at limiting the risk of transmission and enabling the continued monitoring of the effect of schools and colleges reopening.

It is expected that face coverings will no longer be required to be worn in classrooms at step 3 of the roadmap, which will be no earlier than May 17th.

Rapid testing will continue to play a crucial role in keeping schools and colleges safe, as millions of tests are now taken each week by students and staff.

Those who are currently exempt from wearing face coverings will remain so, including pupils or staff who are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate.