Parents urged to wear face coverings on school run to protect others

Parents have once again been asked by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to help the community stay safe by wearing a face covering on the school run.

Lady wearing a face mask

With schools remaining open during the Government’s planned four-week lockdown, the council’s cabinet member for children has urged parents to continue using face masks whilst on the school run, and to avoid spending time around the school when dropping off or picking up their children.

A letter sent to parents via the schools on 16 October, encouraged parents and carers to:

  • wear a face covering (unless exempt) when dropping and picking up children from school
  • keep at least one metre distance from others if you are wearing a face covering (two metres if not)
  • leave the school vicinity as soon as possible

Face coverings are largely intended to protect others, not just the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of virus that causes coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

While every school has carried out risk assessments and taken steps to ensure the ongoing safety of children, staff, parents and the wider community, parents are being asked to continue to play their part.

A small number of face masks have been given to each school to hand out to those parents who are able to wear one, but forgot to bring theirs.

Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “Since the letter was sent to parents back in mid-October, we have seen a fantastic response by parents with the majority following the advice to wear a face covering.

“Schools have worked incredibly hard to maintain the safety of the classroom with bubbles, hand sanitiser, staggered start and finish times, and a range of other measures depending on their individual circumstances.

“With the planned lockdown upon us, we are asking those who are able to, to please wear face coverings during the school run, to maintain social distancing and to please also leave the school area as soon as possible.

“I appreciate that there will be some parents who have children in different year groups and as such have different collection times. I am urging those parents or carers with just one pick up time to please head home as soon as you have collected your child.”

Krishna Ramkhelawon, director for public health, said: “These measures are advised to prevent infections and ultimately save lives.

“The virus is transmitted between humans, meaning interactions with many people results in a risk of picking up the infection. The added difficulty is that many people that are infected do not have any signs of symptoms of illness. The best strategy to adopt is to consider everyone and every place as potentially infectious and take the necessary precautions.

“This is why we are asking parents and carers to wear a face covering, and to wear it snug and make sure the nose and mouth are covered too.”

A full list of exemptions for wearing a face covering can be found on the Government website.

Published: 5th November 2020

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