North Yorkshire students encouraged to wear face mask on school transport in Covid campaign

Young people are adding their voices to a campaign to encourage students to wear face masks to combat the spread of Covid-19 when travelling on the school bus.

By Duncan Atkins
Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 2:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 2:14 pm

As infection rates in North Yorkshire remain above the England average, young people have been talking about why they take precautions and why their fellow students should do the same.

As part of the county council’s Respect and Protect campaign, posters will be available to display on school transport to encourage all children, except those who are exempt, to wear a face mask.

In addition, transport operators will be encouraged to carry spare facemasks on each vehicle to offer to pupils who forget theirs.

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Students Evie and Harriet wear face masks on the school bus.

Evie, a Year 9 student at Thirsk School and Sixth Form College, said: “Wearing a mask makes us feel safer and then everyone else feels safer, as they know everyone is doing their best to protect each other.

“At the start it was hard as we weren’t used to it, but now we all know the reason for it.

"We are keeping everyone safe as well as ourselves and it’s reassuring.

"We might not get it as bad as anyone else, but if we do get it we could pass it on to our parents or grandparents and they could be very poorly.”

Year 9 student Harriet says: “People think it makes them look cool and better than anyone else – and some people just follow the crowd.”

North Yorkshire has seen outbreaks linked to school transport during the first half of the current school term.

Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, said: “Most new cases are in the younger age population, particularly school age children, so we are working hard with colleagues to deal with the impact of this.

“Face coverings should be worn by everyone travelling to school via shared transport, unless they are exempt.

"This includes buses or trains or any transport where they come into contact with people they do not normally mix with.

“Face coverings help to decrease transmission in enclosed settings, such as vehicles where people are required to sit or stand close together.”