WALES is considering removing the rule that all secondary pupils must wear masks at school.

In England, secondary school pupils will no longer have to wear face masks in schools from May 17.

In Wales, face coverings must be worn in all areas while pupils are in school. The rules were expanded to include the classroom after the Christmas break.

But Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, gave a statement on Monday afternoon.said Wales is "actively considering" lifiting the stipulation.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales Breakfast, he said: "This issue is under active consideration in Wales and colleagues are collating all evidence, including the input of Public Health Wales,

"Therefore we'll be able to make an informed assessment of whether we can move to non-use of face coverings in schools straight away or so we need more evidence."

However, Dr Shankar said any relaxation of the rules in schools, as it involves an unvaccinated age group, would be approached with caution.

It comes as people in England will be able to hug loved ones, dine in restaurants and go on holiday abroad from next week in a “considerable step on the road back to normality”, Boris Johnson has confirmed.

The move to the next stage of the road map out of lockdown on May 17 came as the Covid-19 alert level in the UK was downgraded after a “consistent” fall in cases, hospital admissions and deaths.

The Prime Minister said: “This unlocking amounts to a very considerable step on the road map to normality and I am confident that we will be able to go further.”

The road map remained on track for the next stage on June 21 and Mr Johnson promised that later this month the Government would set out “what role there could be – if any – for certification and social distancing”.

As part of the May 17 changes, people will be given the choice whether to remain two metres from family or friends, meaning they can once again hug and shake hands.

“This doesn’t mean that we can suddenly throw caution to the winds. We all know that close contacts such as hugging is a direct way of transmitting this disease,” Mr Johnson said.

“So I urge you to think about the vulnerability of your loved ones.”

Officials suggested people should consider getting tested for coronavirus before hugging and wear face masks or ensure a room is well ventilated before ditching social distancing measures.

From May 17 in England:

  • People will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30.
  • People will be able to meet indoors in groups of six, or two households.
  • Pubs and restaurants will be able to serve customers indoors, although they will be limited to table service.
  • Cinemas, museums, theatres and concert halls will be allowed to reopen although there will be capacity limits on large events.
  • The “stay in the UK” restriction will lift and people will be able to travel to “green list” countries such as Portugal, although they are still being advised not to go to destinations on the amber list.
  • Up to 30 people will be allowed at weddings, although dancing will still not be allowed, and the cap on the number of mourners attending funerals will be lifted, in line with the safe capacity of the venue.
  • Secondary school pupils will no longer be told to wear face masks in class and communal areas.
  • University students will return to campus for in-person lectures.