Do I have to wear a mask on the school bus/transport?

Yes, if you are a post-primary student, it is mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport and school transport unless you have a reasonable excuse not to.

Face coverings on school transport

This includes on:

  • Education Authority buses
  • Translink dedicated school buses
  • Private coaches and taxis used to travel to school
  • Public trains, buses and ferries

You will only be exempt from wearing a mask if you have a reasonable excuse for not wearing one. For example, if you have a physical or mental impairment or disability or it causes you severe stress.

You can find out further information on reasonable excuses here.

Does my teacher have to wear a mask in school?

Yes, teachers and other school staff should wear a mask in school. They must wear a mask outside of classrooms, in situations where they cannot keep 2m distance and are interacting face-to-face with other adults and/or children and young people.

Do I have to wear a mask in post-primary school?

Yes, it is strongly recommended for post-primary students to wear face coverings in school. You should wear a mask in classrooms and when moving about the school in corridors and confined communal areas (including toilets) where it is hard to maintain social distancing.

The current Coronavirus Guidance for Schools and Educational Settings in Northern Ireland states that: “It is strongly recommended that post-primary pupils wear a face covering at all times when inside school buildings, including classrooms, corridors and confined communal spaces such as toilet areas. However, for subjects where social distancing is possible, such as drama in a large hall, face coverings are no longer required.”

What does COVID-19 and policing mean for me?

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020 is a new emergency law that came into force on 28th March, 2020.  This law gives the police special powers.

If you are outside of your home and you are not social distancing from others the police have new powers to disperse (break up) crowds.  The police will do this in a staged way as follows:

  1. Police will encourage you to social distance or for a crowd to disperse.
  2. The police will give you a reason as to why they want you and your friends to disperse.
  3. If you do not listen to the police they have powers under the new law to enforce social distancing.
What will happen if my friends and/or I don’t social distance when asked by the police?

If you or your friends do not follow the directions of the police then you could be committing a criminal offence.  You may be:

  • given advice or guidance by the police;
  • issued with a Community Resolution Notice (this is a notice that can be issued to anyone 10 years old and over for a range of offences not just for COVID-19);
  • issued a penalty notice of £200 (the penalty notice is not a criminal conviction and can be reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days).

If the police have to issue you with further notices the fine can be doubled and you can be prosecuted if you do not pay the fine or comply with the notice. You can find out more about COVID-19 compliance and penalties here.

For more information you can contact us on 08088085678, email or online at REE Live Chat.

What if I need to contact the police during COVID-19?

You can still contact the police for help during COVID-19 by calling 999 in an emergency or 101 if the matter is not an emergency.

Police may ask you questions about your health and that of others in your home to see if anyone there has COVID-19 or is isolating before coming out to see you.