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Please find below a letter that has been sent to all parents and carers today regarding changes that require face masks MUST be worn on school transport that will come into force from Monday 7th December.

IMPORTANT: COVID 19 measures on school / college transport – face coverings must now be worn by all students as a condition of travel from Monday 7th December

Wiltshire Council is working cooperatively with schools, colleges and transport operators to ensure that students have as safe a journey as possible whilst Covid-19 restrictions are in place.

At the start of the Autumn term, the government made the wearing of face coverings mandatory on public transport, but only recommended that they be worn on dedicated transport to school / college. However, the government has now changed its position on this, and it is now a requirement that a face covering is worn by all students over the age of 11 years old, when travelling on a bus, coach or taxi.

From Monday 7th December it will therefore become a condition of travel on all school and college buses, coaches and taxis in Wiltshire, that a face covering is worn by students over the age of 11 years old, throughout their journey. The only exemption will be for students that are specifically exempted from wearing a face covering on medical grounds (for more details of those who are exempt please click here or type in the link below into your browser).

www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your- own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Students travelling on special SEND transport will also be exempted from the new requirements, although we would encourage those passengers with SEND who can wear a face covering, to do so, to protect themselves and others on the vehicle.

If your child travels by bus/coach and is exempt from wearing a face covering, then please contact your school / college office. All secondary schools and colleges are being issued with Wiltshire Council exemption cards which they will give to students who qualify for an exemption if requested to do so by their parent. Failure to produce this exemption card, along with the usual bus pass, when boarding without a face covering, could result in a warning and ultimately a refusal to accept your child onto the vehicle. If your child attends a SEND school, they will not require an exemption card.

Wiltshire Council will be adopting a “three strikes” policy for students who fail to wear a face covering. Should your child be found not wearing a face covering by the school / college 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 2-week period.

I would therefore be grateful if you could impress upon your child the importance of wearing face coverings for their own safety as well as other students and the driver, and that they should be worn at all times whilst travelling on a bus, coach or taxi to and from school. We would also ask you to provide your child with a spare face covering that they can carry in their bag in case their normal covering gets mislaid.

I thank you in anticipation for your co-operation in this matter.

Yours Sincerely

Jason Salter

Head of Service Passenger Transport

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