***Update, Monday 8.15am***
Education officials have updated their guidance to advise that the mandatory mask-wearing policy applies to public school students over the age of 5.
That aligns with the government’s previous guidance on mask-wearing for students ages 5 and over on school buses that has been in place for the past year.
Additionally, “Students who are unable to put on and take off masks without assistance are exempt, as are teachers who rely on mouth cues such as lip reading for communication with students; distancing should be maintained,” according to a statement distributed late Sunday night.
Education officials have mandated that, starting Monday, all public school students and staff must wear masks, with some exceptions.
The Cayman Islands government issued an advisory stating that student and staff must wear masks indoors or while moving through the school — but do not have to wear masks when playing outdoors, eating or working independently at their desks.
As of Saturday, 18 George Town Primary School students have tested positive for COVID-19 in a community outbreak that spurred officials to close the school.
The more-detailed Ministry guidance does not have a recommended minimum age for mask-wearing, but states all children should wear masks who can do so independently.
The statement sent Sunday does not mention private schools.
Here is Sunday’s press release from the government:
Education Officials Issue Updated Guidance on Mask-Wearing in Schools
The Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Department of Education Services (DES) advise that effective Monday, 20 September 2021, all students and staff in Government schools are expected to wear masks while riding the bus, moving through the school compound, while indoors, and while in a group setting.
When playing outdoors, eating, or working independently at their desk, masks may be removed.
This guidance is in effect until further notice.