Coronavirus Updates

DFE: Assisted Testing

Guidance on all aspects of Assisted Testing can be found on the secondary schools document sharing platform.

Close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case in all education and childcare sectors

From Monday 16 August unvaccinated young people up to the age of 18 years and 6 months and fully vaccinated adults, are no longer required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

Those identified as a close contact will be informed by NHS Test and Trace that they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We strongly encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so. There is no requirement to self-isolate while awaiting PCR test results and so individuals can attend their setting as usual.

Children and young people who attend an education or childcare setting and who have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend their setting as normal.

18-year-olds will be treated in the same way as children and young people until 6 months after their 18th birthday, to allow them the opportunity to get fully vaccinated. At which point, they will be subject to the same rules as adults and so if they choose not to get vaccinated, they will need to self-isolate if identified as a close contact.

We have updated the frequently asked questions on changes to contact tracing of close contacts and self-isolation. These can all be found on the document sharing platforms for primary and early yearssecondary schools, further education and higher education and children’s social care.

DFE: Contingency planning in education and childcare sector

The DfE have now updated the contingency framework, which outlines what should be covered within your setting’s contingency plans. There is no expectation for you to create new documents or reformat any existing plans to specific templates, but plans should be up to date. We need to continue to find the right balance between protecting public health and living with COVID-19 as more of the population is vaccinated.

The updated framework also includes:

  • the new thresholds at which you might consider seeking public health advice and taking further action
  • updates to the circumstances in which local health protection teams or directors of public health might recommend you introduce some additional measures, (for example, in response to a COVID-19 outbreak)
  • annexed guidance for managing cases in settings from 23 August

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