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Can my child go to school if I have Covid? UK rules if a parent tests positive for coronavirus explained

There are some circumstances where you should not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school or college

Covid infections are continuing to spread in the UK amid the new Omicron variant, and you may be wondering if your child can still go to school if you have Covid-19.

But what are the rules on your child attending school if you or someone else in their household has Covid?

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Here’s what you need to know.

Can my child go to school if I have Covid?

Whether or not your child can go to school if you have Covid-19 or if they have been in close contact with anyone else with coronavirus depends on the variant you or someone else has.

Education settings are not undertaking contact tracing and close contacts of people with Covid will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace.

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

Close contacts will be informed by the local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace if they fall into this category and provided details regarding self-isolation.

However, individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with Covid which is not a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant, or are a close contact of someone with any other variant of Covid-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved Covid-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

NHS Test and Trace will inform affected individuals, children or their parents or carers that they have been in close contact with a positive case and advise them to take a PCR test.

The Department of Education (DfE) said: “Children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school who have been identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19 that is not a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant, should continue to attend school as normal.”

You should not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school, college or to an entry test for a selective school if:

  • they are showing one or more coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • they have had a positive test result
  • there are other reasons requiring them to stay at home, for example, they are required to quarantine, or they are awaiting their PCR result after a positive lateral flow test
  • they 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

Does my child need to be in a ‘bubble’ at school?

The DfE said it does not currently recommend that it is necessary to keep children in consistent groups - known as ‘bubbles’ - or to keep groups apart as much as possible to manage Covid.

Assemblies and larger group activities can resume, and “any decision to recommend the reintroduction of ‘bubbles’ would not be taken lightly and would need to take account of the detrimental impact they can have on the delivery of education,” the DfE said.