Parents, carers and pupils from across Bath and North East Somerset are being reminded to walk to and from school or bus stops in groups of no more than six and to maintain social distancing, following the introduction of the new restrictions on social gatherings earlier this week.
The new six-person restriction introduced by the government is designed to reduce the spread of covid-19 and is enforceable by law.
Pupils who use school transport are also reminded that they should wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser and follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.
Councillor Kevin Guy, cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “As pupils have now settled back into school and daily routines, it’s really important parents and carers talk to their children about the new restrictions on gathering in groups. Schools are doing a fantastic job in maintaining social bubbles, but we can’t afford to let our guard down outside the school environment. Its essential pupils stick to the rules travelling to and from school and while socialising outside school.”
Despite the challenges posed by coronavirus and reductions in capacity on public bus services due to social distancing, thousands of children from across Bath and North East Somerset are being safely transported to school. Councillor Guy added: “We knew that the reduction in capacity to enable social distancing would pose a real challenge, but I’m delighted to say that as a result of working tirelessly over the summer months in partnership with our transport providers, the transport authority WECA and individual schools we’ve been able to accommodate all children entitled to free home-to-school transport and have had very few problems reported to us from non-entitled pupils using public services.
“Passenger capacity has been increased with additional buses working on key routes during peak periods and some buses have been dedicated for school children only and not available to the general public. I’m also pleased to say that many children have heeded our call to walk or cycle to school if they can, they are helping to ease pressure on the transport network as well as doing their bit for the environment.”
The council will continue to review transport provision in the run up to half term.
Details on the new government restrictions can be found by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing
Guidance on safer travel can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#public-transport