The UK is facing a third wave of the outbreak and has recently imposed social restrictions, including a ban on mixed household gatherings in areas.
Recently, Maggie, a Taiwanese woman of two children living in the United Kingdom said that inconsistent school’s mask-wearing policy has left students confused and parents worried that their children are at risk of infection at school.
Speaking in an interview with The China Post, Maggie said that her eldest daughter attends a middle school in Windsor, England, where students are advised not to wear masks in the classroom but must wear them in the corridor.
However, Maggie’s 15-year-old child is one of the few pupils in her class who wears a mask all day since the school opened in September, which is why the principal is particularly concerned.
“First few days, most students in her class wore face masks; after a few days, there are only very few people wearing face masks in class,” Maggie said.
Maggie告訴The China Post，校長希望身為家長的他能為女兒寫一封證明書(note)，要學生上學時隨身攜帶此證明，若有老師詢問要求其脫下口罩，可馬上提出家長聲明。
Maggie told The China Post that the principal wanted the parent to write a note for his daughter to confirm the fact that she is wearing masks full day in school.
The principal hopes that the student would bring this note to school so that If a teacher asks her to take off her mask, she may immediately provide a parental statement.
Afterward, Maggie’s husband wrote to the school, agreeing that his daughter should wear a mask all day at school to protect herself and others, and stressing that the school should encourage students to wear masks to fight off the pandemic.
“An increasing number of people wears face masks in public spaces, even though most people wear them with their nose out,” he went on. “Some people even pull off their face masks to speak to others because they are afraid that others won’t understand them,” he noted.
“It is a different culture,” he continued. “If you are wearing a face mask here it means that you are sick and you should stay at home,” he remarked. “That’s the reason why most people don’t wear face masks.”
On the other hand, Maggie said that the middle school her younger attends in Windsor, is now much more stringent in preventing the disease.
The preventative measures include management of school time by surname, bubbles, ordering lunch online, sterilizing desks and chairs, and more.
According to a policy guideline issued to parents by a UK school, the UK government is not recommending face coverings in nurseries, childminders, schools, colleges because these institutions already have preventive measures in place to reduce the health risks.
According to the Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed cases is 725,292 with 43,736 deaths, and some schools in the UK do not consider wearing masks a necessary measure, even as the pandemic continues to worsen.
In addition to Maggie, a parent shared on the Facebook page “Taiwanese Moms in London” that her daughter had been banned from wearing a mask at school.
The principal replied that if parents insisted on allowing their child to wear a mask at school, they may have to “take their kids out of school.”
Similarly, one said that an Asian parent asked her child to wear a mask to school, but received a call from the school asking the parent to tell the child to remove the mask. Three days later, her child developed flu symptoms, which made the parent very worried.
“If we don’t go abroad, it doesn’t mean that others don’t go abroad. If you are asymptomatic and you are walking around without a mask, it makes it harder to prevent the disease. I don’t think the UK has taken into account asymptomatic people,” the social media user wrote.
Another said that her child’s school also has a policy of not wearing masks. However, on the first day she sent the child to school, she found teachers all wearing masks, which led to a heated discussion among other parents questioning the school policy.
The other wrote that the government had not made it mandatory for students to wear masks, but only suggested that primary school students did not need to wear masks.
She continued, “Each school has a different policy on whether or not to wear masks, but the school’s position is to encourage children to wear masks to school, even though only one or two children in a class wear masks.”