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Covid-19 Plan B update

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Dec 13 2021

Working from home

Office workers who can work from home should do so from Monday 13 December. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work – for example, to access equipment necessary for their role or where their role must be completed in-person. In-person working will be necessary in some cases to continue the effective and accessible delivery of some public services and private industries.

We expect all education and childcare settings, including further and higher education providers, to continue to provide face-to-face teaching, and staff should continue to attend their place of work if required in order to deliver this. Teaching and learning should not be moved online as a result of the work from home guidance and we continue to expect higher education students (unless distance learners) to receive an element of face-to-face tuition. Therapists and wider children’s service professionals should continue to be invited into education and childcare settings.

Education and childcare leaders are best placed to determine the workforce required to meet the needs of their children, pupils and students. Education and childcare leaders will need to consider whether it is possible for specific staff undertaking certain roles to work from home, while minimising disruption to face-to-face education and care.

Following expert clinical advice and the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine programme, people previously considered to be particularly vulnerable, clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), and high or higher-risk are not being advised to shield again.

Children and young people previously considered CEV should attend their setting and should follow the same COVID-19 guidance as the rest of the population. In some circumstances, a child or young person may have received personal advice from their specialist or clinician on additional precautions to take and they should continue to follow that advice.

Testing

We strongly encourage all those involved in education and childcare settings to continue regular testing (LFD not PCR) and reporting their results, and to encourage pupils and students in year 7 and above to test and report their results.

Settings are strongly encouraged to ask parents, guardians and other visitors to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test before entering the setting.

Isolation

All individuals who have been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, irrespective of vaccination status and age, will continue to be required to self-isolate and asked to book a PCR test.

The Government plans to introduce Daily Contact Testing as soon as possible as an alternative to self-isolation for contacts of positive Omicron cases who are fully vaccinated or under the age of 18 years and 6 months.

January return

We continue to learn more about the impacts of the Omicron variant. To prepare for any possible changes in public health advice, all education and childcare settings should now revisit their existing outbreak plans to ensure they are well prepared for any future changes and ensure they are familiar with the Contingency Framework Guidance

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