England school bubbles to end from 19 July as lockdown eases

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Tags: Covid-19, education, vaccine

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has today announced that the use of bubbles in England’s schools will come to an end this month.

Staggered start times will also stop from 19 July, when England enters step four of the path out of lockdown.

Some protective measures, such as those related to ventilation and hygiene, are expected to stay. But pupils will no longer be required to wear face coverings or to socially distance.

And from 16 August, pupils under the age of 18 will no longer have to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace because they’ve been near someone with Covid-19. Instead, they will be expected to take a PCR test.

Yesterday our CEO Amanda Batten responded to the announcement that Covid restrictions will largely end later this month:

“While many will celebrate this announcement, spare a thought for clinically vulnerable children who still can’t access the vaccine. Their families have never felt so unsafe as restrictions lift and cases continue to rise.

“Many desperately want their child to have access to the vaccine but are denied by the current guidance which is so narrow and not fit for purpose. It is a month since the vaccine was shown to be safe for 12-15 year olds, yet youngsters who shielded at the advice of government because they are more vulnerable to severe illness from Covid, have still not been granted access.

“This was an opportunity to show disabled children and their families that they are part of the planning, but yet again their increasingly desperate situation has been ignored. There are 60,000 children in the UK who were asked to shield during the pandemic. Our research has found that 12% continue to shield, missing out on school and seeing friends. This is having a huge impact on their siblings too.”