Sheffield schools told ‘be cautious’ as Covid Plan B rules end on Thursday, January 27

Education bosses are telling Sheffield’s schools to be cautious over lifting coronavirus safety measures this week.

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 5:43 pm

The Government announced last week that England will ditch its so-called Plan B measures on Thursday January 27, after seeing infection rates fall in some parts of the country.

Ministers stopped asking people to work from home last week, and face coverings are no longer advised in classrooms for both staff and pupils from this week. But Sheffield Council is said to have written to schools urging caution.

The Department for Education is removing national guidance on the use of face coverings in communal areas from Thursday, with local directors of public health able to recommend the use of face coverings in education settings across their area only where the department and public health experts judge the measure to be proportionate due to specific health concerns.

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John Devlin 31/08/2020. Stock shot of pupils wearing face masks/coverings. Health bosses in Sheffield are urging people to remain cautious when plan B rules end in the city.

What will the end of Plan B Covid rules mean?

Also from Thursday, venues and events will no longer be required by law to use the NHS Covid pass, and face coverings are no longer required by law in any setting.

But public health guidance will remain in place suggesting individuals should continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces.

Unions have revealed Sheffield’s director of education and skills has sent an email to all schools, including academies, asking them to continue to exercise caution regarding the potential lifting of safety measures in their setting.

Despite the Government removing the plan B measures, which were brought into effect last month against a backdrop of concerns over the spread of the more infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus, health officials in Sheffield are still urging people to remain cautious.

Greg Fell, director of public health for Sheffield, said: "Whilst the Government have announced a return to “Plan A” measures, our Public Health advice for everyone - whether in school, at work, out in public, wherever you are - is to continue to exercise caution when thinking of reducing covid safety measures as infection rates remain high.”

"Protecting ourselves, our loved ones and our NHS should still be at the forefront of what we do as we learn to live with Covid,” he added.