Under the new guidance, published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on 30th March 2022, children and young people aged 18 or under who have tested positive for Covid will be advised to stay home for three days from 1 April.
The Department for Education (DfE) said the reason for this decision was that "following expert advice", it is known that "Covid presents a low risk of serious illness to most children and young people, and most of those who are fully vaccinated".
Schools have been told that adults and pupils who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
It is not recommended that children and young people are tested for COVID-19 unless directed to by a health professional.
What you can do instead of taking a COVID-19 test
Most people in England are no longer advised to get tested. Find out:
- what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19
- what to do if you've been in close contact with someone with COVID-19
- how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19
If you still want to get tested and you're not eligible for a free NHS test, you must pay for a COVID-19 test yourself.
You can buy a COVID-19 test from some pharmacies and retailers, in person or online. Do not call 119, as you will not be able to get a test this way. You cannot order tests from NHS 111 or 999.
How long to stay at home and away from others if you've tested positive for COVID-19
If you have COVID-19, you can pass on the virus to other people for up to 10 days from when your infection starts. Many people will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days (adults) and 3 days (children under 18).
Adults should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days and avoid meeting people at higher risk from COVID-19 for 10 days, especially if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, even if they’ve had a COVID-19 vaccine. This starts from the day after you did the test.
If a child or young person aged 18 or under tests positive for COVID-19, they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days. This starts from the day after they did the test. Children and young people tend to be infectious to others for less time than adults. If they’re well and do not have a temperature after 3 days, there’s a much lower risk that they’ll pass on COVID-19 to others.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, and a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or do your normal activities
You can go back to your normal activities if you:
- feel well enough to do so
- do not have a high temperature
Contact a GP or call NHS 111 if:
- you’re worried about your symptoms
- your symptoms get worse
In an emergency, call 999.
Please follow the link if you are interested in the Government’s latest guidance for parents - People with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19.
Stay at Home Guidance
If your child develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test
Pupils, staff and other adults who have COVID-19 symptoms, should follow guidance on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/people-with-symptoms-of-a-respiratory-infection-including-covid-19
You should follow public health advice on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/
Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)