Schoolchildren are banned from singing Happy Birthday in the classroom over fears it could spread coronavirus – and are told to listen to it on YouTube or hum the tune instead
- Schools across the country have banned singing inside due to coronavirus fears
- Birthday cakes from home have also been banned to stop the virus spreading
- Singing inside has been banned in pubs and churches under official guidelines
Schoolchildren have been banned from singing Happy Birthday in classrooms over fears it could spread coronavirus.
Children have been told to listen to the song on YouTube or hum the tune rather than sing it at some schools.
Birthday cakes from home have also been banned by some schools to prevent transmission of the virus.
Singing can leave droplets in the surrounding air, meaning infectious individuals risk spreading the virus when they open their mouths.
Schoolchildren in the UK have been banned from singing Happy Birthday in classrooms over fears it could spread coronavirus
It has not been banned in all schools yet but people have been banned from singing in pubs and churches.
Parent campaign group UsForThem has found certain schools across the country have imposed a ban themselves.
UsForThem co-chair Christine Brett, from Cambridge, said banning singing is one of the many detrimental measures being taken at schools, including limiting access to water and toilets.
The mother-of-two said: ‘UsForThem believes children have suffered enough from prolonged absence from school and they should be able to return to a normal and supportive environment.
‘Birthdays only happen once a year and its a day when a child feels special.
‘Now their classmates are banned from singing to them, they are not allowed to bring in sweets or cake to share and due to the rule of 6, many are unable to have a party outside school.
‘Singing represents a low risk in terms of transmission from children, who are the lowest risk of both getting and transmitting this virus.
‘We cannot put their young lives on hold forever.’
The Department of Education said it is up to schools to decide whether children can sing around other classmates.
Official guidelines state: ‘Playing instruments and singing in groups should take place outdoors wherever possible.
‘If indoors, consider limiting the numbers in relation to the space.
‘Singing, wind and brass playing should not take place in larger groups such as choirs and ensembles, or assemblies unless significant space, natural airflow (at least 10l/s/person for all present, including audiences) and strict social distancing and mitigation as described below can be maintained.’
What are the coronavirus rules in place to protect schoolchidren?
School life has been very different since pupils returned to school in September.
Guidance in place for schools advises a number of measures to avoid the spread of the virus.
Contact sports are to be avoided and pupils are ideally kept in age group ‘bubbles’.
Parents were advised to avoid the bus or public transport on the school run and encouraged to try and walk or cycle to school instead.
Many schools also introduced staggered start times so pupils could travel at quieter times.
The Department of Education guidance also said pupils should be gathered into ‘bubbles’ where possible, although it does not specify their precise size.
This is hoped to reduce the number of other pupils the children come in contact with, and to prevent the virus spreading amongst the school population.
In all schools, everyone is expected to regularly wash their hands and always use tissues for sneezes and coughs.
Schools also had to introduce ‘enhanced cleaning procedures’.
Large gatherings such as assemblies are discouraged, while school trips are discouraged.
In PE, the Department for Education issued guidance that contact sports ‘should be avoided’, meaning sports like rugby, to avoid children coming into close proximity of one another.