The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves…
… is to wash their hands more often. Soap and water and regular handwashing for at least 20 seconds is the best way of staying safe. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.
A video on hand washing can be found here.
Government announces moving from Contain Phase into Delay Phase
As per the current advice, the most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves remains washing their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Make sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue, put it in a bin and wash your hands.
We are asking anyone who shows certain symptoms to self-isolate for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means we want people to stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.
The symptoms are:
* A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
* A new, continuous cough
You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
In the coming weeks, we will be introducing further social distancing measures for older and vulnerable people, asking them to self-isolate regardless of symptoms.
For more information please see here:
Government Coronavirus action plan
The Prime Minister confirmed that the government’s response to COVID-19 has moved to the delay phase – the second phase in the government’s coronavirus action plan.
The coronavirus action plan was launched last week. This document sets out what we have done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes.
The action plan can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan (Updated 03/03/2020)
Advice from Public Health England continues to be for education and children’s social care settings to remain open, unless advised otherwise. We are continually reviewing how best to support all educational settings and the impact of any measures will be considered carefully before being implemented.
Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy
Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111.The latest travel guidance can be found here:
|https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public (Updated 17/03/2020)|
Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:
|https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/ (Updated 04/03/2020)|
The importance of hygiene
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes. Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water In addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport. Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:
Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
- Phone: 0800 046 8687
- Email: [email protected]
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
Guidance for educational settings:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Latest Department for Education information:
Coronavirus – Advice for all early years providers, schools and further education providers
The government is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus and is taking action at home and abroad.
The overall risk of Coronavirus to the UK remains moderate. However we understand that people may be concerned where there are children, students or staff returning from or visiting China.
Public Health England and the Foreign Office have issued advice for anyone travelling to the area. This can be found at:
Latest information and advice can also be found at:
Please share this advice with your staff and cascade as appropriate.
Advice for parents/guardians
You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the Coronavirus.
There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their early years, school or further education setting as normal.
We recognise that some families or children may be planning to travel to China during the forthcoming half term period. If so, please refer to the FCO’s latest travel advice via the link above.
What action you can 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
You can do this by:
Displaying this poster in relevant public spaces:
Sharing DHSC content from the following social media links: