As secondary school and college students return to the classroom after the Easter break, some may be wondering if face coverings are still compulsory.
On 6 April, the government confirmed that face coverings should continue to be worn after Easter holiday to help limit the risk of transmission.
But which face coverings are best and what are the rules? We've investigated – and gathered together the best washable and reusable face masks for children now that they're going back to school. Scroll down to see the list.
RELATED: The best fun face masks for kids - patterns, animals and cartoon characters
MORE: 25 best kids' lunch boxes that parents will love, too
WATCH: Celebrities wearing face masks
Face masks in schools: what are the current rules?
The government have announced that secondary school children will have to continue to wear face masks in classrooms after the Easter break - if they can't stick to the two-metre social distancing rule. The rules include mask use in corridors and communal areas and on school buses and public transport.
It is expected that face coverings will no longer be required to be worn in classrooms, or by students in other communal areas, at step 3 of the roadmap, which will be no earlier than May 17th.
What about the face mask rules for schools in the rest of the UK?
In Scotland, secondary school pupils should wear face masks in corridors and communal areas, and senior pupils (years S4-S6) and their teachers must wear them in class. All staff in Scottish schools must wear masks where social distancing is not possible.
Meanwhile, the Welsh government has recommended face coverings in high schools when social distancing is "unlikely to be maintained". And in Northern Ireland, face coverings must be worn in the corridors of post-primary schools and on school and public transport.
RELATED: The best face mask storage cases to protect your face covering from contamination
Primary schools are not currently affected by the new guidelines, although the rules may evolve once school starts to get underway.
RELATED: The ULTIMATE face mask guide - the rules, styles and everything you need to know
Will face masks be compulsory at my child’s school?
If your child goes to a secondary school in England or Scotland, then face masks are compulsory in line with the new rules. There are exceptions, however - when the children are engaged in exercise or strenuous activity like PE, or if they are exempt for health reasons. Children over 11 still need to wear a mask if they are going into a shop or supermarket or on public transport.
Bearing in mind the expert advice that you should change face masks after every use – and this could include two trips on public transport per day – it’s a good idea to invest in at least four masks so you have spares for washing.
RELATED: The best deals on face mask packs so you can get masks for the whole family
Which masks are best for children and where can I buy them?
Schools are likely to favour plain masks, possibly matching your child’s school uniform. There are several good washable plain masks for children you can buy online, and some that can be discretely personalised with your child’s name so you don’t have to worry about them getting lost.
It’s important you invest in one in a size that fits correctly around the nose and under the chin to avoid the spread of coronavirus. We've rounded up the best below.
Shop kids' face mask variety packs for school
If you are just looking for kids face masks for school and you don't have to worry about matching a school uniform, we've made it easy for you to choose with this selection of plain kids' face masks. These all come in packs of five, so your child will have one for each day of the school week.
(If you need to know where to buy single-colour packs to match school colours, keep scrolling – we have you covered, too!)
Multi-use face masks, from £8 for a three-pack, Everlane
Everlane's great face masks are a favourite of Angelina Jolie and they come in good value multipacks in a variety of school-friendly colours.
Back to school pack, was £102.11, now £34.99, Pacamask
Pacamask make fantastic antibacterial facemasks which kill 99% of bacteria for up to 50 washes and their back-to-school pack is amazing value. You get five of the masks, two mask cases, two silver ion sanitisers and two silver ion sprays. The pack also comes in adult size, so you can even get one for yourself too.
Marks & Spencer 5-pack reusable kids' face masks, pack of 5, £9.50, Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer has one of the best deals around for school face masks: a pack of five adjustable kids' face coverings in plain colours for under £10
Crayola face masks, was £22.14 now £14.92, Schoolmaskpack.com
Schoolmaskpack.com stock Crayola non-medical mask packs that come with adjustable ear toggles for a comfy fit and unique face mask designs for each day of the school week to avoid cross-contamination.
Shiroko 3 pack monochrome face masks for kids with nose wire, £40, Etsy
These luxury masks are one of the few sets on the market with nose wire - which is a must if your child wears glasses
5-pack children’s plain face masks, £9.11, Etsy
A variety of colours and styles of kids' masks, individually or in sets, is available on Etsy. These are extremely lightweight and breathable.
RELATED: 3 genius ways to manage your kids' back to school anxiety revealed
PHOTOS: Royal mums on the school run! Kate Middleton, Queen Letizia and Co are just like us
Shop kids' face masks for school: Single colour bulk packs
With the face mask rules constantly evolving, a safe bet is to shop a basic kids' face covering that matches your child's school uniform colours. It’s already a challenge to find individual kids masks that fit the bill, so it's truly joy-inducing to find plain kids’ face masks in multi-packs – like packs of five, one for each day of the week.
Aside from the back-to-school kit featured above, Pacamask has a great deal for kids – their face coverings, which are £17.95 each for kids and adults sizes, are just £9.95 if you buy at least six, or £4.99 each for orders of ten and above. The Pacamask Colour Collection Children’s mask comes in school-friendly shades like red, grey, black, purple and dark blue.
Children’s face mask in red, more colours available, from £4.99 each, Pacamask
Pacamask's antibacterial face coverings are reduced in price from £17.95 each to £9.99 if you buy six, or £4.99 if you buy ten or more
Oscar Apparels kids plain face mask (also available in grey), £5.92 for five, Amazon
Kids' face masks for school uniforms: Individual
Need just a single mask for your child's return to school? We've searched out some great options for individual kids' masks for school as well.
This face mask, handmade in the UK, is just £2 for a single mask. It comes in three childrens' sizes – aged 3-6, aged 6-10 and aged 11-14 – and is reversible, with burgundy on one side and navy on the other. Basically, the perfect choice for school.
Reversible triple-layer kids' face mask, £2, Etsy
Here are more options in various colours...
Back to school face mask (black, navy, burgundy or bottle green, £9.50, Etsy
Plain red mask, was £11.99 now £2.49, Just Hype
Basic black children’s mask for ages 3-12, £2.99, Amazon
Green mask with permanent filter for children, £13, Vistaprint
Grey mask with permanent filter for children, £13, Vistaprint
Personalised kids' face masks for school
Make sure your child's mask doesn't get mixed up with anyone else's with a custom mask personalised with their name or initials.
Personalised face mask, £8.17, Etsy
Back to school monogram face mask, more colours available, from £10.03, Etsy
Face mask storage cases for school
Don't forget that your child will also have to keep track of their mask! Face mask storage cases are a major trend – here are some cool examples your kids will love.
Personalised face mask case, £5.47, Etsy
Personalised mask pouch and hand sanitizer kit, £13.67, Etsy
Personalised animal face keychain mask case, £5.47, Etsy
RELATED: The best deals on back to school uniforms
SHOP: A full school essentials checklist for parents
HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.