The Department of Education has advised schools not to exclude children who arrive without masks "in the first instance."
Under new regulations, children over the age of nine are now expected to wear masks in indoor settings, including schools where all pupils from third class upwards fall under the rule.
This morning the department of education issued schools with a list of frequently asked questions around the implementing of COVID rules. The note states that it is "not intended that any child will be excluded by the school in the first instance" of not wearing a mask.
Last week the department said any unmasked pupils would be sent home unless they could prove they were exempt from mask-wearing for valid reasons.
Now the department has backtracked, saying "schools will engage pragmatically and sensitively with parents to explore any particular difficulties arising for an individual child."
"Every effort should be made" to effectively communicate the logic behind mask-wearing.
Some children are exempt for medical reasons, such as having difficulty breathing or being unable to remove a mask without assistance. Pupils are not expected to wear masks while playing sports, eating and drinking.