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Face coverings compulsory for pupils aged 11 and over on school buses to secondary schools and colleges

All those travelling - apart from those medically exempt - will need to wear a face covering throughout their journey

Published 4 December 2020
Bus and coach signage

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.

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways said: "We know a large number of our students have been wearing face coverings on our school transport and I want to thank them for their responsible attitude. We have written to all our students using dedicated school buses and we want to thank them and their parents in advance for taking this new direction on board. We are working with our schools and they will be able to issue medically exempt passes to those families who need it. I am sure for both passengers and drivers this new direction is welcomed to help keep everyone safe."

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.  

Anyone who has a query on additional cards, or have any questions about them or their use can email passengertransport@wiltshire.gov.uk.

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. 

Anyone who has any questions can email passengertransport@wiltshire.gov.uk

Published 4 December 2020