Updated guidance January 2022
REDUCTION OF SELF-ISOLATION PERIOD FOR POSITIVE CASES
- Positive cases will be able to leave self-isolation if they take LFD tests on two consecutive days from Day 6, these must be taken at least a full 24 hours apart.
- Both test results on each day must be negative and if the case does not have a high temperature, they can leave self-isolation.
- If either of the LFD results on days 6 or 7 show a positive result they should continue their self-isolation until they have 2 consecutive negative tests. These should be taken 24 hours apart or their 10 days of isolation is completed, whichever is soonest.
- If a child under five tests positive, they are required to self-isolate for 10 days. Please note that LFD testing is not recommended on children under 5 years. However, at parent or guardian discretion they may be able to leave self-isolation early.
- If LFD tests cannot be sourced, then the full 10 day isolation period must be completed.
- There is no change to isolation guidance for close contacts, unvaccinated adults still need to isolate for 10 days. This is a legal requirement.
What if my child is identified as a close contact? (Positive COVID case within the household)
In line with recent national guidance, if children are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 they should take an NHS rapid lateral flow test every day for 7 days to help slow the spread of COVID-19. If the lateral flow is negative, they can continue to attend school.
Under 5s are exempt from self-isolation as a contact and do not need to take part in daily rapid lateral flow testing.
What if my child’s lateral flow tests is positive?
If your child has a positive LFD test, they should self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test within 2 days (PCR has been temporarily suspended). If the PCR test result is positive, your child must isolate and you should notify the school at the earliest opportunity.
It may be possible to end self-isolation after 7 days, following 2 negative LFD tests taken 24 hours apart (from day 6 and day 7 of the isolation period). The first LFD test should not be taken before the sixth day. If either of the LFD tests taken on day 6 or 7 are positive, or your child has a high temperature, they must continue to isolate until they have 2 consecutive negative LFD results or 10 days (whichever is sooner). If you are unable to obtain LFD tests, then the full 10 day isolation must be completed.
CHANGE TO GUIDANCE ON ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING WITHIN 90 DAYS
Previously, the guidance for mass asymptomatic testing in schools using LFD has advised that individuals who are within 90 days of a positive PCR are exempt from testing with LFD.
Individuals can participate in regular LFD testing for asymptomatic infection detection with LFD once they have completed their 10 day isolation period (or if released early from isolation with two negative LFD tests) for their prior infection.
To identify more of the potential reinfections with Omicron before the return to school in January, the clinical SOP for mass testing has been amended to allow all individuals can participate in routine asymptomatic infection detection with LFD once they have completed their 10 day isolation period for their prior infection. Individuals who have left self-isolation on day 7 following two negative LFD results are advised to wait until they have completed the full 10-day period before participating in routine LFD testing. This applies to all staff and eligible students participating in mass testing on return. The guidance for other groups who participate in regular asymptomatic LFD testing is kept under review and any changes will be communicated accordingly.
CONFIRMATORY PCR TESTS TO BE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED FOR POSITIVE LATERAL FLOW TEST RESULTS
From 11th January 2022 in England, people who receive positive lateral flow results for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test. This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK. Whilst levels of COVID-19 are high, the vast majority of people with positive LFD results can be confident that they have COVID-19.
This change only applies to people who do not have symptoms.
Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who develops one of the three main COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test - these rules have not changed.
Under this new approach, anyone who receives a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result should report their result and must self-isolate immediately but will not need to take a follow-up PCR test. After reporting a positive LFD test result, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced and must continue to self-isolate.
From 4th January 2021, there is now a national recommendation that in those schools, colleges and other settings where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms and teaching spaces. This is in all secondary settings, however Early Years children and children in primary schools are not currently being asked to wear face coverings.
To book a test - please follow this link.