This information was updated on 28/05/2021.

Contact tracing over May half-term

Schools and colleges continue to play an important role in contact tracing for pupils, students and staff. We recognise the challenges of this responsibility during holidays, but this remains vitally important in the continued national effort to limit the spread of the virus.

Where pupils, students or staff test positive for COVID-19 during half-term, having developed symptoms more than 2 days since being in school or college, no action is needed. Staff, young people, parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace. However, where pupils, students or staff test positive having developed symptoms within 2 days of being in school or college, you are asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school or college.

Staff responsible for contact tracing are not asked to be on-call at all times and may designate a limited period in the day to receive notification of positive cases and advise close contacts to self-isolate (this can be done by text or email).

Where schools or colleges can do so, staff assuming responsibility for contact tracing during half-term can be offered equivalent time off at an agreed point during term time.

The Department for Education COVID-19 helpline and the PHE Advice Service will remain open over May half-term to answer any questions you have about COVID-19 relating to education settings.

Lateral Flow Testing Kit

Free Covid-19 home testing kits are available to all families and households with early years, primary, secondary school and college-aged children and young people, including childcare and support bubbles, as well as adults working in the school community.

Families are encouraged to test themselves at home twice-weekly in order to identify Covid-19 cases quickly and break the chain of transmission. Tests are either delivered to your home or you can collect them from a local testing site. You do not need an appointment. Go to the rapid lateral flow test section of the Gov.UK website to find your nearest collection centre