All secondary school pupils and college students will need to wear a face covering on dedicated school buses from Monday 7 December, following a change in government advice.
Wiltshire Council is responding to the recent government update on wearing face coverings on school buses. All those travelling – apart from those medically exempt – will need to wear a face covering throughout their journey.
Letters are being distributed to parents of those children who travel on dedicated school transport advising them of this change, and schools are being updated. There will also be posters on school buses to remind everyone.
Previously the government made the wearing of face coverings mandatory on public transport, but only recommended wearing them on dedicated home to school transport. However, on the 27 November the government said it is now a condition of travel on dedicated home to school transport to secondary schools and colleges for all students over the age of 11 years old to wear a face covering.
Wiltshire Council will send out medical exemption passes to secondary schools and colleges for those pupils who are unable to wear a face covering, so parents can request a card direct from the school or college. These passes can then be presented to the driver in conjunction with the student’s usual bus pass.
Those travelling on SEND transport will not be included in this new policy, as the majority of children fall into the category of being excluded from wearing face coverings. However, Wiltshire Council does encourage those passengers with SEND who can wear a face covering, to do so.
Should a student bediscovered not wearing a face covering by either the school or transport operator, and there is no record of them being exempt from using one, then after the third incident they will be refused travel for a two-week period.