Parents of clinically vulnerable children voice concerns over lifting of restrictions today in England

2 mins read

Thursday 24 February 2022

Tags: covid, listening ear, restrictions

Parents of clinically vulnerable children have told us of their concerns over restrictions being lifted in full today in England.

From today:

  • It will not be a legal requirement to self isolate in you have Covid symptoms, it will now be advised instead.
  • Regular testing is still advised for special schools and SEND units in mainstream schools. But mainstream schools and other education settings will no longer be required to test twice-weekly.
  • Free lateral flow testing will end on 1 April. Although the government did say vulnerable groups would continue to have access to free tests.

Amanda Batten, Chief Executive of Contact, said: “While the advice to continue testing in special schools is welcome, there are clinically vulnerable and immunocompromised children in mainstream schools, where testing will no longer be required. This is a worry for the families we support.

“We feel it would have been safer to lift restrictions when clinically vulnerable 5-11 year olds have been given the chance to have two Covid jabs. Most of them are only just getting their first and won’t be fully protected until the end of April.

“We are also concerned about charging for tests, which will inevitably penalise those on low incomes, as families with disabled children are three times more likely to live in poverty than other families. Boris Johnson did say that some vulnerable groups would continue to get access to free tests and we will be seeking clarification on who will receive these.

“Throughout the pandemic, disabled children and their families have felt forgotten and overlooked, and today’s changes in England further cement that view.”

Find out what the rules are in the devolved nations.

Worried about the changes?

We understand that some families who have a clinically extremely vulnerable child might find the changes concerning. If you are worried about how this will affect you and your family, it could help to talk to our Listening Ear team who provide emotional support and practical advice.