Covid Key Information
Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm
Travel is different: information for schools on foreign travel during COVID-19
As schools finish for the summer holidays, you may wish to remind parents of the following foreign travel advice:
• to understand the risks in a country, including the latest COVID-19 restrictions (including for entry), follow the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Travel Advice.
• to prevent new COVID-19 variants from entering the UK, you should not travel to red list countries.
• to check what they need to do to travel abroad and return to England, or read travel guidance for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland
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 years, secondary schools, further education and higher education and children’s social care.