“FACE Mask rule relaxed” (CP, 14-05-21) demands comment.

Ending the requirement for masks in secondary schools from Monday was premature and lacking in empathy and understanding, particularly with rising cases of the Indian variant.

Why now, when half-term is only just over a week away?

In addition, post-exam students would be closer to leaving, thereby decreasing numbers in school buildings and thus risk.

Government constantly champions caution. A cautious action is careful and well considered.

When the government’s own Sage scientists had recommended restrictions, including masks in classrooms, remain in place, it hardly feels cautious or well considered.

The Covid-19 alert level moving from level 4 to level 3, relative low rates of transmission and death have led to growing optimism.

Admittedly, while there is a wide spectrum of feeling around mask wearing, but it’s certainly a puzzle — not requiring pupils to wear masks, no matter whether they are 11 or 18 , when mask-wearing adults are still expected in shops and on public transport.

As for allowing school trips with overnight stays; it takes weeks to organise this trip type. The possibility of local lockdowns exist. Desirable and educative trips abroad look fraught with uncertainty.

While mask removal will no doubt improve interaction in the short term, there is evidential uncertainty and insufficient clarity over any consequences.

We should remember how quickly the Island moved from level 1 to level 4.

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