MORE than £2.3 million to provide face coverings for secondary school and further education learners is being provided by the Welsh Government.

Education minister Kirsty Williams made the announcement, which will see £1.8 million and £469,000 provided to schools and further education settings respectively.

It followed a statement made by both the education minister and the health minister Vaughan Gething in which they provided new guidance regarding the use of face coverings in education settings.

The risk-assessed use of face coverings in secondary schools in a range of settings where other physical controls cannot be or are unlikely to be maintained is recommended by the Chief Medical Officer

This may include communal areas of schools where the physical layout means that contact groups cannot remain separated to the same degree.

Kirsty Williams said: "It is vital children and young people, parents and the education workforce feel confident that all measures are being taken to protect them as they return to schools and colleges.

’We have also recently updated our operational guidance for schools and FE to require settings and local authorities to undertake risk assessments of their estates to determine if face coverings should be recommended for their staff and young people in communal areas - this includes school and college transport."

A Welsh Local Government Association spokesperson said: "Schools and local authorities have planned extensively over the summer to prepare for the reopening of schools and mitigate the risks of Covid-19 for students, teachers and support staff.

"These plans include test, trace and protect and arrangements to provide cover for staff who need to self-isolate where possible or the arrangement of alternative provision."