Health and Medical Information including Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

Latest Update re Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance from Public Health England and the DfE 

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

**Update 1st April**
Guidance for parents and carers: keeping children safe online
The DfE have updated information for parents and carers to include a section on keeping children safe online. It provides links to online resources that will help support parents and carers in keeping their children safe online.

Full details can be found in section 6.3 of the guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

**Update 20th March**
From Friday 20 March schools, childcare and other educational settings are closed for everyone except:

- children of critical workers 
- vulnerable children

We have published guidance for parents and carers:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Critical workers
If parents’ work is critical to the coronavirus response, their children will be prioritised for early years and education provision.

The Government has published a list of critical workers:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision   

 **Update 19th March**

Schools, colleges and early years settings to close
Yesterday (18th March) Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that as part of the country’s ongoing response to COVID-19, schools, colleges and early years settings have been asked to close to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children from Monday 23 March.

A full list of key worker categories will be published by the Cabinet Office later today. We will share this with you once this information is made available.

Where schools are unable to provide this reduced provision, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available.

Further details on this announcement can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-colleges-and-early-years-settings-to-close

The Department is working through the policy implications of this announcement and, over the coming days, will be sharing with you the further information that you need.

**Update 17th March*
New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday (16th March), the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

• if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started

• if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

• for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:
• A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
• A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:
• https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:

• https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-coronavirus-16-march-2020

**Update 16th March**

Updated guidance for education settings on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Today, the Department for Education and Public Health England have issued updated guidance for education settings on COVID-19. This guidance will assist staff in addressing COVID-19 in educational settings. This includes childcare, schools, further and higher educational institutions.

What you need to know:

  • staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal
  • if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home
  • clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products
  • supervise young children to ensure they wash their hands for 20 seconds more often than usual with soap and water or hand sanitiser and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues.


The updated guidance can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19#contents

Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce would be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to education or children’s social care settings will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

**Update 13th March**

Government announces move from Contain to Delay phase
Yesterday the Government announced that we are moving from the Contain phase of the coronavirus action plan and into the Delay phase in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Stay at home guidance:
To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms to slow the spread of infection. The symptoms are:
- a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
- a new, continuous cough

You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you do not have internet access you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

School Attendance
Current advice remains in place: no education or children's social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England. The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children's education and on the workforce will be substantial but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group. 

It is important that we all do our best to ensure that our children’s education is disrupted as little as possible. In line with current (13 March 2020) Government guidance, students and staff should continue to attend school unless:

  • They have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), a new continuous cough and/or high temperature, however mild, when they should stay at home and not leave the house for 7 days from when the symptoms started.

All other children and staff should continue to attend school, including their siblings attending the same or a different school (unless advised not to by public health officials or government guidance).

How to wash your hands properly
Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water. watch this short NHS film for guidancehttps://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VjeIWLnEg

Public Health England recomends that in addition to handwashing before eating and after coughing/sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The DfE 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 the helpline as follows (please note the helpline is experiencing high volume of calls - your call will join a queue and be answered as soon as possible):

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

**Update 12th March**

Government coronavirus action plan
The government coronavirus action plan sets out what the UK has done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) and what we plan to do next. The situation is constantly reviewed and action informed by expert science and advice, guided by the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser. The action plan can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan.

The action plan sets out a four-phased approach in response to coronavirus - Contain, Delay, Mitigate and Research. The current emphasis is on the Contain and Research phases, however planning for Delay and Mitigation is already in train. As part of the Contain phase, the DfE has been providing advice to educational settings in England and launched a DfE helpline to manage the flow of increasing queries. 

As of 10th March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated travel advice and is currently advising:

against all but essential travel to Italy
against all travel to Hubei Province in China
against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China
against all travel to the cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan in South Korea

The FCO is not currently advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of COVID-19. The latest travel advice can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

**Update 10th March**
Government Coronavirus Action Plan: 
Yesterday the Prime Minister confirmed that the Government's response to COVID-19 remains in the 'Contain' phase - the first phase in the Government's Coronavirus action plan. The Coronavirus action plan was launched last week. This document sets out what we have done to tackle Coronavirus, and what it plans to do next, depending upon the course the current Coronavirus outbreak takes. The action plan can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

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.

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy:
Yesterday, Public Health England updated their travel advice recommending anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111. 

The latest travel guidance can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:
https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/

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 water. In addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, both children and staff should wash their hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline:
The DfE 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 the helpline as follows:


Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

**Update 6th March 2020**

There has been a change to the advice for travellers returning from Italy. The whole of Italy outside of the specified lockdown towns in the North of Italy is now in category 2 and the advice is:

Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places (information for the public in the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public) in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath, even if your symptoms are mild.

The advice for the category 1 lockdown towns remains the same.

The latest travel guidance can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk

F
urther information on what you should do if you are asked to slef-isolate can be found here: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/


**Update 4th March 2020** 

Government Coronavirus action plan
Yesterday, the Coronavirus action plan was launched. This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.


The document includes:
• what we know about the virus and the disease it causes
• how we have planned for an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current coronavirus outbreak
• the actions we have taken so far in response to the current coronavirus outbreak
• what we are planning to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes
• the role the public can play in supporting this response, now and in the future

Current advice remains in place: No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.
 
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.
Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.
https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1235112744917049346

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:
https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources
Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.

**Update 2nd March 2020**

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline:
Today (02.03.2020), the DfE have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.

The importance of hygiene:
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19. Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:
https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources

Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.

Where to find the latest information:
Updates on COVID-19:
 https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

**Update 26th February 2020**

Re: COVID – 19 Advice for schools and educational settings 

You may be aware that advice for travellers from affected areas has recently changed and it has come to our attention that this may affect children and staff returning from the half-term holiday. Please be aware that this is a fast evolving situation and we will continue to share any new advice at the earliest opportunity.

As of Tuesday 25th February advice for returning travellers is as follows:

1) If you have returned from the following areas since February 19, call NHS111 to inform them of your recent travel, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:

  • Iran
  • Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy* as designated by the Government of Italy
  • Daegu or Cheongdo, Republic of Korea)
  • Hubei province, China (returned in the past 14 days)

* Bertonico • Casalpusterlengo • Castelgerundo • Castiglione D'Adda • Codogno • Fombio • Maleo • San Fiorano • Somaglia • Terranova dei Passerini: • Vo

2) If you have returned from the following areas since February 19th and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.

  • Northern Italy (see map)
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

3) If you have returned to the UK from any of the following areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country. 

  • Other parts of China outside Hubei province
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau 

Information for the public: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public