Early years included in plans to reduce number of critical workers having to self isolate

The government has outlined new guidance for earl years settings and schools as restrictions ease further.

Settings will no longer be required to contact parents and carers about positive cases in their classroom groups. NHS Test and Trace will notify positive and close contact cases, although in some circumstances the app will get in contact for more details or information on other contacts.

Early years staff and teachers will no longer be required to wear a mask, although this is still being recommended to use while in ‘enclosed and crowded spaces’,

The updated government guidance stated:

“Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.

“As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case to identify close contacts. Contacts from a setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact. You may be contacted in exceptional cases to help with identifying close contacts, as currently happens in managing other infectious diseases.”

Purnima Tanuku OBE, chief exec of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said:

“Nurseries and their staff are a vital part of our national infrastructure and were included in the critical workers list at the beginning of the pandemic. They are crucial to our educational and economic recovery.

“Therefore they must be included in any plans to reduce self-isolation in order to support young children in their development and enable their parents to work.

“Our research showed that over the winter months, three quarters of nurseries had to close at least one room at least once during that time because of positive Covid cases. Numbers of cases are soaring again which will result in more nurseries having to close rooms not just for positive cases but for a lack of early years practitioners because so many are having to isolate themselves.”

 

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