Face masks at schools and kura

Face masks at schools and kura

Information on when face masks are required at Red, Orange and Green traffic light settings. 

Masks help reduce risk of infected people spreading COVID-19

Any children, young people or teachers who wish to continue wearing face masks outside of settings where it's required are entitled to make this decision and should be supported to do so. 

The Ministry of Health has advised that there is no specific time limit for how long a single-use mask (such as the blue surgical mask) is effective, and you do not necessarily need to change your mask regularly throughout the day.

School staff are able to wear a medical mask until it is damp, soiled or damaged. 

More information about face masks – Unite Against COVID-19

Face masks at Red

They must be worn:

  • by ākonga in Years 4-13 when indoors, and when they’re on school and public transport. The mask must be attached to the head by loops around the ears or head and cover the nose and mouth properly. This can be a well-fitting reusable fabric mask (three layers are recommended) or a medical-grade disposable mask (the blue surgical mask).
  • by teachers and staff who are supporting Year 4-13 students when indoors. They are required to wear a medical-grade mask such as the widely available blue disposable masks that many New Zealanders are already wearing. 
  • by visitors including parents and caregivers, when indoors. 

They are not required:

  • when outside.
  • when playing sport or engaging in recreational activities.
  • for students in Years 1–3 in school, and on school and public transport. School transport includes buses or vans chartered or used by schools to carry children, students and staff.
  • for staff who support students in Years 1-3.
  • for boarders inside the school hostel. 

Face masks at Orange

  • They must be worn by ākonga aged 12 and above on school and public transport. The mask must be attached to the head by loops around the ears or head and cover the nose and mouth properly. This can be a well-fitting reusable fabric mask (three layers are recommended) or a medical-grade disposable mask (the blue surgical mask).
  • It's strongly encouraged that face masks continue to be worn by ākonga and staff in Years 4-13 when indoors. Face masks are one of the key health measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in indoor settings. 
  • It's also strongly recommended to wear face masks in large indoor gatherings such as assemblies.

Face masks at Green

  • They are encouraged but not required when inside the school.

Face masks when dropping off and picking up students

Parents and caregivers dropping off or picking up students before and after school are encouraged to wear masks at all settings of the framework.

Nurses in schools

Across all traffic light settings, nurses in schools and other health professionals will need to follow their own industry guidance for using personal protective equipment (PPE).