According to education officials, “huge numbers” of children, in some cases as many as 95 per cent, are refusing to wear face masks in school or take COVID tests.
The government instructed schools to make pupils wear masks in classrooms and common areas after a spike in Omicron cases.
However, the move appears to have completely backfired in many areas of the country.
“Sadly, we have had reports in the last 24 hours of at least six secondary schools in the north-west of England where children, in huge numbers, are refusing to take lateral flow tests or to wear masks,” said Damien McNulty, a national executive member of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.
“We’ve got one school in Lancashire where only 67 children out of 1,300 are prepared to have a lateral flow test and wear masks. This is a public health emergency,” he added.
As we highlighted yesterday, the results of the UK government’s own report on whether face masks would stop the spread of COVID in schools was “not conclusive.”
Authorities were subsequently forced to acknowledge that proof face masks preventing the spread of the virus is statistically insignificant.
“Schools where face coverings were used in October 2021 saw a reduction two to three weeks later in Covid absences from 5.3% to 3% – a drop of 2.3 percentage points,” reported BBC News.
“In schools which did not use face coverings absences fell from 5.3% to 3.6% – a fall of 1.7 percentage points.”
According to University of Oxford Professor Jim Naismith, when England dropped face mask mandates back in July and Scotland maintained them, it made “no meaningful difference” to infection rates.
We previously highlighted the comments of UK government SAGE adviser Dr Colin Axon, who dismissed masks as “comfort blankets” that do virtually nothing, noting that the COVID-19 virus particle is up to 5,000 times smaller than the holes in the mask.
“The small sizes are not easily understood but an imperfect analogy would be to imagine marbles fired at builders’ scaffolding, some might hit a pole and rebound, but obviously most will fly through,” Axon said.