Hope for schools ‘gagged’ into 3rd period

Council of Ministers to decide whether masks continue to be obligatory in schools

see update below…

Following vehement opposition to continued enforcement of mask-wearing in schools, the Council of Ministers is expected to decide on Thursday whether or not to uphold DGS advice

Experts particularly have poured cold water on recommendations by the nation’s health authority, stressing damages caused by children being forced to wear masks now outweigh any possible benefits.

SARS-CoV-2 has mutated favourably: the elderly and most vulnerable are vaccinated – the feeling is that it is time to release the youngest, least affected by the virus, to normality.

School directors insist the use of masks is having an increasing impact on learning – thus Filinto Lima, president of the national association of school directors, has said he is hoping for a ‘good decision for the whole school community’ on Thursday.

Meantime, schools in neighbouring Spain have done away with mask wearing in the classroom and almost all indoor closed spaces, although masks are still recommended in health and social centres and on public transports.

UPDATE: In spite of predictions it appears now that the Council of Ministers will not be making a decision on Thursday.

Secretary of State for Health António Lacerda Sales has told journalists this afternoon that a re-evaluation of mask wearing in schools will only come ‘in the next 8-15 days’, due to DGS concerns over virus transmission over Easter.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com