Face Coverings

What is an appropriate face covering?

A face covering is something which securely covers the nose and mouth. There are many types of face coverings available, including cloth and disposable. Face coverings work best if they are made with multiple layers and form a good fit around the face.
Cloth face coverings should be made of a material that you find comfortable and breathable, such as cotton. The World Health Organisation recommends three layers of fabric. The Ministry of Health recommends you should have enough (washable) face coverings so each person in your family can wear one and wash one.

Appropriate face coverings:

Fitted snugly and sealed well around facial contours NOT appropriate face coverings
» Single use, disposable masks (medical masks)
» Re-usable fabric masks with 3 layers
» Dust masks
» Bandanas (or similar, eg, scarves)

More information about use of face coverings, including appropriate types of masks and face coverings can be found on www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/covid-19-use-masks-and-face-coverings-community#types.

Special considerations for face coverings
The use of face coverings may have a particular impact on those who rely on visual signals for communication. Those who communicate with or provide support to this group of people, are exempt from wearing a face covering in school settings.
Students who are not wearing face coverings, it’s reasonable for you to check whether they are exempt from doing so. It’s not always obvious why a face covering is unsuitable for someone, so it’s important to be kind, respect people’s privacy, and not jump to any conclusions.

Exemption cards are available only for those who have a disability or health condition that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable. While the cards are not a requirement for the individual, guidance on the Ministry of Health website notes it will make it easier to explain why wearing a face covering is unsuitable for them.
If a student has an exemption card, they need to show us evidence of exemption. If they don’t have a card, they may be able to provide a letter or medical certificate from a health practitioner or GP.

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