Boris Johnson to perform U-turn on face masks in schools, claims report

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in south west England on August 25, 2020, as the historic shipyard announced it's re-opening having being bought by InfraStrata in a £7 million deal. (Photo by Ben Birchall / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BEN BIRCHALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Boris Johnson is set to perform a U-turn on face masks in secondary schools in England, according to reports.

Face masks are set to be made "near mandatory" in communal areas, trade publication Tes reported.

It added an announcement could be made on Tuesday afternoon.

It would be in line with recent World Health Organisation (WHO) advice that pupils aged 12 and over should wear a mask.

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Boris Johnson visits shipyards
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Boris Johnson visits shipyards
APPLEDORE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Prime Minister Boris Johnson elbow bumps a welder during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in Devon which was bought by InfraStrata, the firm which also owns Belfast's Harland & Wolff (H&W), in a £7 million deal, on August 25, 2020 in Appledore, United Kingdom. The firm will operate it as Harland & Wolff (Appledore), dealing with smaller vessels than the giant Belfast site where the Titanic was built. (Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
APPLEDORE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in Devon which was bought by InfraStrata, the firm which also owns Belfast's Harland & Wolff (H&W), in a £7 million deal, on August 25, 2020 in Appledore, United Kingdom. The firm will operate it as Harland & Wolff (Appledore), dealing with smaller vessels than the giant Belfast site where the Titanic was built. (Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in south west England on August 25, 2020, as the historic shipyard announced it's re-opening having being bought by InfraStrata in a £7 million deal. (Photo by Ben Birchall / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BEN BIRCHALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
APPLEDORE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in Devon which was bought by InfraStrata, the firm which also owns Belfast's Harland & Wolff (H&W), in a £7 million deal, on August 25, 2020 in Appledore, United Kingdom. The firm will operate it as Harland & Wolff (Appledore), dealing with smaller vessels than the giant Belfast site where the Titanic was built. (Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
APPLEDORE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in Devon which was bought by InfraStrata, the firm which also owns Belfast's Harland & Wolff (H&W), in a £7 million deal, on August 25, 2020 in Appledore, United Kingdom. The firm will operate it as Harland & Wolff (Appledore), dealing with smaller vessels than the giant Belfast site where the Titanic was built. (Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
APPLEDORE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in Devon which was bought by InfraStrata, the firm which also owns Belfast's Harland & Wolff (H&W), in a £7 million deal, on August 25, 2020 in Appledore, United Kingdom. The firm will operate it as Harland & Wolff (Appledore), dealing with smaller vessels than the giant Belfast site where the Titanic was built. (Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
APPLEDORE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks in the dry dock with caretaker Clifford Edwards during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in Devon which was bought by InfraStrata, the firm which also owns Belfast's Harland & Wolff (H&W), in a £7 million deal, on August 25, 2020 in Appledore, United Kingdom. The firm will operate it as Harland & Wolff (Appledore), dealing with smaller vessels than the giant Belfast site where the Titanic was built. (Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
APPLEDORE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks across the huge dry dock with CEO InfraStrata John Wood, left, and caretaker Clifford Edwards, right, during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in Devon which was bought by InfraStrata, the firm which also owns Belfast's Harland & Wolff (H&W), in a £7 million deal, on August 25, 2020 in Appledore, United Kingdom. The firm will operate it as Harland & Wolff (Appledore), dealing with smaller vessels than the giant Belfast site where the Titanic was built. (Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) elbow bumps a student during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in south west England on August 25, 2020, as the historic shipyard announced it's re-opening having being bought by InfraStrata in a £7 million deal. (Photo by Ben Birchall / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BEN BIRCHALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) chats with students during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in south west England on August 25, 2020, as the historic shipyard announced it's re-opening having being bought by InfraStrata in a £7 million deal. (Photo by Ben Birchall / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BEN BIRCHALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) talks in the dry dock with caretaker Clifford Edwards (R) and CEO InfraStrata John Wood (L) during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in south west England on August 25, 2020, as the historic shipyard announced it's re-opening having being bought by InfraStrata in a £7 million deal. (Photo by Ben Birchall / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BEN BIRCHALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) helps a contractor to paint machinery yellow during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in south west England on August 25, 2020, as the historic shipyard announced it's re-opening having being bought by InfraStrata in a £7 million deal. (Photo by Ben Birchall / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BEN BIRCHALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Though the government has resisted calls for face masks to be made compulsory in schools in England, Johnson later offered a hint this could change.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the prime minister said Downing Street will consider the "changing medical evidence as we go on".

If, as Tes reported, the government does change its policy on face masks, it would be its second major U-turn in eight days.

It would follow the decision for A-level and GCSE results to be awarded to students based on teachers' predicted grades, after a crisis which saw nearly 40% of A-level results downgraded as a result of exam regulator Ofqual's algorithm aimed at standardising results.

Current government guidance for schools in England does not recommend face masks because pupils and staff are mixing in consistent groups.

It adds that misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission, while it could also have a negative effect on communication.

On Tuesday, the Scottish government announced "obligatory guidance" for face masks to be worn in secondary school corridors and communal areas – as well as on school transport – from Monday.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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