Schoolchildren can no longer sing "Happy Birthday" in class over fears of potentially spreading the coronavirus. In some schools, pupils are now told to listen to the song while their teachers play a video on YouTube or hum to the tune instead of actually singing.
According to Cambridge parent campaign group UsForThem, a number of schools across the UK have started to impose this rule. Singing is said to leave droplets in surrounding air which means this could lead to individuals spreading the virus when they open their mouths.
In the same light, birthday cakes brought into school have also been banned as part of stringent measures to keep the virus from spreading. Although singing "Happy Birthday" has not been banned in all schools, people are now banned from singing in churches as well as pubs
The Department of Education said there is no official ban on singing in schools but they are leaving it up to the schools to decide if children would be allowed to sing around other classmates. As it is, official guidelines state that the playing of instruments as well as singing in groups are only allowed to take place outdoors, the Mirror wrote.
UsForThem co-chair Christine Brett says the ban on singing is just one of the many concerning measures being implemented in schools. Some have even made children sit or stand back to back when playing and talking to one another.
With the cold months coming in, young children are even more vulnerable as they are forced to sit and endure freezing temperatures as government guidelines require windows to be kept open to reduce virus spread. Parents have complained that their children come home in tears and with blue skin from spending the day in their freezing classroom. Some say their teachers have asked children to wear layered clothing as coats are banned from being worn indoors.
School life has proven to be difficult for younger learners since classes opened in September. Play activities have been limited and children are kept in age group bubbles while others complain of limited access to toilets and water.
Many parents have been angered by these new rules especially for those who have kids going to school for the first time. A number of first time parents expecting to see their children participating in school programs are raging after some have announced the cancellation of school Christmas Nativity plays and similar activities.