Living With Covid - Update
On Monday 21st February the Prime Minister set out the next phase of the Government’s COVID-19 response to the Living with COVID-19 plan.
The Prime Minister confirmed that domestic legal restrictions will end on 24th February 2022.
In response, the DfE have published amended guidance for schools, which can be found by clicking here.
DFE guidance for parents/carers can be found by clicking here.
The key points are as follows:
1. Changes to self-isolation
From Thursday 24th February the legal requirement to self-isolate ends.
Until 1st April, the government still advises people who test positive to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least five full days and then continue to isolate until they have received two negative test results on consecutive days.
Should parents send their child to school if they think they have COVID-19?
If a child has any of the main symptoms or a positive test result, the public health advice remains unchanged: stay at home and avoid contact with other people. Anyone with any of the main COVID-19 symptoms should arrange a PCR test and is advised to stay at home while waiting for the result.
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If they test positive, they are advised to follow public health advice.
Parents should continue to report positive cases and Covid absences via the school attendance line 0208 647 8294 option 1, via the Gateway App or by email to: email@example.com
2. Changes to testing in schools
As of Monday 21st February, the Government has removed the guidance for staff and students in most education and childcare settings to undertake twice-weekly asymptomatic testing. As a school, we will no longer be routinely issuing home testing kits to students.
Staff and students of secondary age and above will only be able to access tests from schools in response to local public health advice and/or if schools are instructed to distribute tests, particularly in the instance of an outbreak.
Staff and students are still able to access test kits from their local pharmacy or online
3. Changes to daily testing of close contacts
From Thursday 24th February, fully vaccinated close contacts and those aged under 18 are no longer asked to test daily for 7 days. The legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate is also removed.
Routine contact tracing will end. Contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests. Staff, students and young people should attend their education settings as usual. This includes staff who have been in close contact within their household, unless they are able to work from home.
From April, the Government will update guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take which we believe will be similar to the advice on other infectious diseases. The government will also no longer provide free to order universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England.
As always, the safety of our students and staff remains paramount and for the time-being we are still encouraging students to wear masks in corridors, communal areas and, if they wish, classrooms. This still remains optional for students.
In the meantime, if you have any questions then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org