From 19 July the government continues to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus. This marks a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic, moving away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day-to-day lives, towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk.
As COVID-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, there is now an imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education – particularly given that the direct clinical risks to children are extremely low, and every adult has been offered a first vaccine and the opportunity for 2 doses by mid-September.
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Advice from Public Health England continues to be for education and children’s social care settings to remain open, unless advised otherwise. We are continually reviewing how best to support all educational settings and the impact of any measures will be considered carefully before being implemented.
Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here.
The importance of hygiene
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes. Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water In addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport. Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials.
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
- Phone: 0800 046 8687
- Email: DfE.email@example.com
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19
Guidance for educational settings
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas
Latest Department for Education information:
Coronavirus – Advice for all early years providers, schools and further education providers
The government is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus and is taking action at home and abroad.
The overall risk of Coronavirus to the UK remains moderate. However we understand that people may be concerned where there are children, students or staff returning from or visiting China.
Public Health England and the Foreign Office have issued advice for anyone travelling to the area. This can be found at:
Latest information and advice can also be found here:
Advice for parents/guardians
You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the Coronavirus.
There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their early years, school or further education setting as normal.
We recognise that some families or children may be planning to travel to China during the forthcoming half term period. If so, please refer to the FCO’s latest travel advice via the link above.
What action you can take
A UK wide campaign has been launched to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Please help to support the campaign which promotes basic hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.
You can do this by:
Displaying this poster in relevant public spaces:
Sharing DHSC content from the following social media links: