Wearing face masks in communal areas and corridors is now compulsory for pupils and teachers in all of England’s secondary schools and colleges.
Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in Year 7 and above when travelling on dedicated school transport to secondary school or college.
In primary schools and education settings teaching Year 6 and below there is no change to the existing position, so it is not mandatory for staff and visitors to wear face coverings.
The new guidance was issued on November 4 before the start of the second national coronavirus lockdown which began on Thursday, November 5.
The Department for Education said it would expect schools to ensure any changes required are in place as soon as practically possible, and by Monday, November 9 at the latest.
Headteachers expressed anger at the new guidance arriving less than 24 hours before the start of lockdown, according to BBC News.
The guidance states that face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils in all secondary schools when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms (such as corridors), and communal areas where social distancing cannot be easily maintained.
However, some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings, and “clinically extremely vulnerable” staff members should not go to school.
Primary schools also have the discretion to recommend the use face coverings for adults on site in situations where social distancing between them is not possible, such as when moving around in corridors and communal areas.