Mark Drakeford: Mask mandates in Welsh schools 'imminent'

29 November 2021, 18:41

By Seán Hickey

The First Minister of Wales tells LBC that measures to slow the spread of the Omicron variant will be announced soon.

Britain's top advisers have today announced the UK's booster programme will be extended to all adults in a bid to quell the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

This follows the PM's announcement on Saturday that masks should be worn in indoor public settings.

"What should happen in schools over the coming weeks?" Eddie Mair asked the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Read more: Reaction to Omicron 'totally over the top', says South Africa top doc

"We are making announcements imminently" Mr Drakeford began, when Eddie interrupted: "Oh just go ahead, you're on the radio!"

Read more: 'Is Christmas safe?': Health minister is still making plans despite Omicron concerns

"We're going to be asking that masks are worn in communal areas in secondary schools, in the classroom as well.

"In most of Wales mask wearing in communal areas is already part of the repertoire that schools use, we think now is the moment with three weeks left of term, to introduce some additional safeguards to try and keep our school population safe, staff that they are in contact with safe, and then their families' safety as well."

"What about an early Christmas holiday?" Eddie suggested, arguing that might slow the spread of Omicron.

Read more: Downing Street confirms schools won't break up early for Christmas amid Omicron fears

"We will continue to discuss that with our trade union and local authority education colleagues," Mr Drakeford compared, adding that "it's a top priority for us to do everything we can to keep our young people in school and learning."

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