Face coverings to be worn at all times

Friday September 11, 2020

Up until now, in line with Government advice, the Academy has not required individuals to wear face coverings. However, in line with the latest scientific guidance from SAGE regarding appropriate measures for Higher Education settings, we have decided that for the safety of all in our community, we will require everyone to wear a face covering while on the premises, including during classes, unless exempt for medical reasons. During classes models will also be exempt. 

Currently, we do not require individuals to wear any additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) beyond what would usually be required for a class. PPE, such as visors, may be appropriate for a small number of individuals and as such will be provided by the Academy. If you would like more information, or to request PPE, please contact shortcourses@artacademy.org.uk

In addition to other mitigating actions (ventilation, reduced group sizes, social distancing, personal hygiene, increased cleaning), face coverings act as a source of control and provide some protection to the wearer. There is good evidence for their effectiveness in preventing droplets from being released by an infected person and some evidence that they can reduce the exposure of someone else to those droplets. They may also limit aerosol transmission by capturing droplets at the source and stop them evaporating into smaller aerosols than remain suspended in the air. Their use will therefore have the greatest benefit in scenarios where individuals have to come into close proximity, or are using the same shared space.

There is also new evidence that loud speech can generate more aerosols and so could enhance the risk of transmission. This poses a challenge for the majority of teaching situations, especially during demonstrations and presentations. We recognise that the wearing of a face covering in these circumstances may interfere with teaching and, therefore, a tutor may, when necessary, temporarily remove their face covering (but they must be worn by all other participants).

How to make, wear and remove a face covering 

Many thanks for your cooperation.