Coronavirus advice

Advice to schools, settings and parents

ISSUED 13 FEBRUARY 2020

Nine patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus and if more cases are confirmed in the UK, it will be announced as soon as possible by the Chief Medical Officer.

Based on the World Health Organisation’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. The risk to individuals remains low. 

You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the coronavirus and there is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their early years, school/setting as normal. 

Schools are advised to share the following advice to parents/guardians intending to travel abroad this half term:

We recognise that some families or children may be planning to travel abroad this half term to countries where there is a higher risk of transmission.

The affected countries are: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. If you are planning travel to these countries, please refer to the latest travel advice

Public Health England has also issued general advice for members of the public.

This template can be used to share advice and guidance with parents/carers.

What action you should you take 

A UK-wide campaign has been launched to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Please help to support the campaign which promotes basic hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.  

Anyone who has travelled to the UK from the countries listed in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

Further information 

Myth busting 

A number of myths have emerged regarding the virus. Please the World Health Organisation fact checking and myth busters around the virus. 

Advice and guidance for schools/settings

There are 2 posters available which you may wish to display in your school: 

  • an NHS poster giving simple advice on good hygiene and infection management; and 
  • a Public Health England poster giving advice for those travelling back from Wuhan province in China.   

Public Health England’s Winter Readiness package for schools and nurseries includes checklists for flu and how to report outbreaks. 

Schools/settings are advised to put advice and guidance on their own website and check the Services for Schools website next week for any further updates during half term.

Contacts

Hilary Smith, Head of Strategy, Policy and Governance