Covid restrictions reintroduced in education settings in England

2 mins read

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Tags: Covid-19, coronavirus, education, department for education, schools, pandemic

The government has confirmed the reintroduction of certain restrictions in schools and other education settings in England in a bid to combat the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

New guidance states that:

  • Face coverings should be worn in all settings by year 7 school pupils and above, school staff and visitors when moving around, including in corridors and communal areas. Face coverings are not required in classrooms. Pupils aged 11 and over should also wear a face covering on public and dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt. In primary schools, school staff and adults should wear face coverings in communal areas. Primary pupils should not be asked to wear face coverings.
  • School staff and children who have been identified as a close contact by NHS Trace of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, irrespective of vaccination status and age, will be contacted directly and required to quarantine for 10 days and book a PCR test. This does not apply to the Delta variant of Covid-19.
  • Education settings in should continue to encourage staff and students to test twice-weekly using lateral flow device (LFD) tests. They will be required to test pupils on their return from holidays in January 2022, followed by twice-weekly testing until the end of term. Alongside this, schools will operate staggered start times.

You can read the updated guidance on the government’s website.

Live in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales?

Some of the restrictions now being reintroduced in England had not been lifted across the other UK nations, where existing rules remain in place.

You can see the latest guidance in education settings across the UK or read more advice from Contact on the Covid-19 pandemic.