RULES requiring masks and social distancing in universities and colleges in Wales have been removed in the latest phase of the relaxing of Covid regulations.

The Welsh Government has formally removed the Infection Control Framework for higher and further education institutions, the education minister said today - Monday, May 9.

The change came into effect today, and brings higher and further education institutions in line with wider public health advice.

Universities and colleges will now operate under similar guidelines to businesses, employers and event organisers – for whom major controls on Covid were removed in mid April.

Colleges and universities had already begun to hold large-scale lectures and face-to-face teaching as pandemic measures were eased.

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The measures were first put in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19, as well as other widely spread diseases such as flu sand norovirus.

Jeremy Miles, minister for education and the Welsh language, said: “I would like to thank our college and university staff and students for their tremendous efforts throughout the pandemic in not only supporting students to keep learning but also their leading role in the fight against Coronavirus.

“The continuation of education has been a Welsh Government priority throughout the pandemic.

“We have worked closely with the sector to ensure Covid-secure environments and in-person learning and campus facilities were available.

“We are now in a Covid-stable scenario and the public health risks for higher and further education have reduced significantly.

“Therefore the continuation of additional public health measures is no longer proportionate and we have asked institutions to formally remove their infection control frameworks from today.”

Universities and colleges have been following sector-specific guidance to reduce the transmission of Covid-19, similar to the local framework followed by schools, with a scale of measures based on local risk.

On April 18, the Welsh Government removed the legal requirement for businesses, employers and event organisers to undertake specific risk assessments and employ reasonable measures to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

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