Masks are no longer compulsory in schools after the Easter holidays as health guidelines are updated
Updated with Curia’s statement at 3:37 p.m.
Masks should no longer be worn in schools from Monday, the date of the start of the school year, indicates a document published by the health authorities.
“It will no longer be compulsory to wear a mask in schools. However, individuals are free to assess the risks to themselves and their children given that the evidence to date still shows that wearing a mask is effective,” the document states. Social distancing must always be respected.
Earlier in April, faith-based schools in Malta expressed their reservations about the government’s decision to scrap the mandatory use of face masks in schools.
The faith-based schools organization said while it favored the eventual removal of face masks from classrooms, the use of masks had been effective in controlling the pandemic in schools.
The decision to remove face masks comes after months of growing pressure from parents calling for the removal of masks amid a contest of eased restrictions everywhere else.
The only other major change to the guidelines relates to gatherings.
“All activities that occurred before the COVID-19 pandemic should take place with basic mitigation measures in mind,” the document says.
School gatherings can take place as long as they respect social distancing. “Schools are responsible for taking the necessary steps to mitigate any potential viral transmission.”
This means that parents can now attend events at school even if they are not vaccinated due to changes to vaccination rules earlier in the year.
The document does not specify whether schools can apply their own rules to students and teachers.
Statement of the Curia
In a statement, the Curia said health authorities are still recommending the use of face masks as they are still effective in curbing the spread of the virus.
In light of this, Church schools that consider the use of masks necessary for the well-being of their community and their continued operation will notify parents and staff members accordingly, the Curia said.
“Students and staff at all Church schools are encouraged to wear a mask as required by the guidelines. The guidelines still require masks on school transport,” the Curia said.