The government continues to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus. The Prime Minister announced on 19 January that the temporary introduction of Plan B is to end. As a result, Plan B measures in this guidance for specialist settings are being removed. This advice remains subject to change as the situation develops.
Coronavirus COVID-19 continues to be a virus that we learn to live with and the imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education remains.
Our priority is to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils and students. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health, and presents safeguarding risks.
Covid-19 Key Messages
What are the symptoms?
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- new continuous cough and/or
- fever (temperature of 37.8°C or higher)
- loss of or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
What is the mode of transmission?
COVID-19 is passed from person to person mainly by large respiratory particles (droplets and aerosol) and direct contact (close unprotected contact, usually less than one metre). These droplets can be directly inhaled by the person or can land on surfaces which another person may touch which can lead to infection if they then touch their nose, mouth or eyes.
What is the incubation period?
The incubation period (i.e. time between exposure to the virus and developing symptoms) is
between 1 and 14 days (median 5 days).
When is a person infectious?
A person is thought to be infectious from two days before symptoms appear, and up to ten days after they start displaying symptoms. The onset of infectious period is counted from the morning of the 2 days before the date of onset of symptoms and not 48 hours from the time of onset of symptoms. For example, a person who developed symptoms at 2pm on the 15th November would be asked to identify contacts from the morning of 13th November onwards.
Are children at risk of infection?
Children of all ages can catch the infection, however there is strong evidence that children and young people are much less susceptible to severe clinical disease than older people.
- From 20 January, face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, students, staff and visitors in classrooms. From 27 January, face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, students, staff and visitors in communal areas.
- Ensure good hygiene for everyone
- Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes
- Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
- Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
- LF Testing twice a week for staff and pupils
Information for schools on the 12 to 15 year old vaccination programme (Latest update from DfE)
As we approach half-term, schools should have received a list of their nearest 15 vaccination centres offering appointments over this period, from NHS England. We ask that schools signpost the list and the walk-in offer (where available), to students and parents, for example, through the use of school newsletters and noticeboards.