Do not remove mandatory use of face masks, Church schools tell government

Church schools say the withdrawal of masks in schools should be postponed to the end of May

Church schools in Malta have expressed their reservation on the government’s decision to remove the mandatory use of face masks in schools.

“This decision, taken at a time when schools have been hardest hit by COVID-19, with

record numbers of sick students and staff, is also expected to leave an impact on parents

who will have to remain at home to take care of their children,” they said.

Earlier in April, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced from 13 April, children will no longer need to wear a mask in school.

In a statement, Church schools said they made it very clear that, while thy are in favour of the eventual removal of face masks in classrooms, the use of masks has been an effective measure in controlling the pandemic in schools.

“Therefore, considering that students often spend up to six hours a day together in the same room, this should be the last measure to be withdrawn,” the statement read.

They said the withdrawal of masks in schools should be postponed to the end of May.

“If the decision to remove masks as of 13th April is retained, each school should be allowed to mandate their use independently, according to its own context and decision,” they said.

The decision to remove masks according to Church schools, risks damaging the positive process of the management of COVID-19 in schools which has been achieved so far between the health authorities and all educational stakeholders, “thanks to good communication, mutual cooperation and goodwill.”