Dusseldorf. The association of teachers in NRW had called for a reduction in the requirement for masks in the classroom. But the school ministry makes it clear: The requirement only meets the tight-fitting mouth-nose coverage.
The new mask requirement in the classroom in North Rhine-Westphalia can only be met with face shields in exceptional cases. The North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Education clarified this at the request of the German Press Agency in Düsseldorf. Protection from infection by a visor – made of plexiglass, for example – is, according to the Robert Koch Institute, not as safe as covering the mouth and nose close to the face.
The association of teachers in North Rhine-Westphalia had previously demanded that the “drastic measure” of a mask requirement, which even applies to teaching, be alleviated somewhat at all secondary and vocational schools – for example with facial visors for teachers. In exceptional cases, this is conceivable, the school ministry said. “Visors can be used for people who are unable to wear a mouth-and-nose cover for medical reasons.” However, priority is given to the usual mouth-and-nose cover in favor of infection control.
The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia provides the schools with around one million masks from state stocks at the beginning of the school year – as a reserve in case of need. Face visors are not among them. “They are FFP-2 masks,” said the Ministry of Education. Students or their parents generally have to take care of masks themselves.
In several other federal states, schoolchildren and teachers must wear a mouth-to-nose cover in the new school year – but not in the classroom. In NRW, the regulation initially applies until the end of August.