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Shielding guidance as schools, nurseries and childcare reopen

For people who have been shielding the last few months it's been very difficult. Children who have been shielding may have found the restrictions on what they could do particularly hard. Now, as restrictions ease and schools and childcare settings begin to reopen, you might have some worries about what this means for people in your household that are coming out of shielding.

My child has been shielding, can they go back to school?

Yes. Scientific advice says that the virus is at low enough levels that children who are coming out of shielding can go back to school when they reopen between 11-18 August. Younger children at nursery or preschool children can go back from 1 August. You may want to discuss this with your child’s healthcare team beforehand if you have any concerns. You can also look at the current government guidelines that will continue to be updated.

I’m worried they’ll be at risk if they go back?

There will be close monitoring to give an early warning if there are any spikes in infections in each local area. Your child’s school will have plans in place if there is a rise in local infections. This may involve clinically vulnerable children and young people having to learn from home and using a mix of online and remote teaching. Speak to your child’s school to learn more about the plans they have in place.

Will my child have to wear a face covering at school?

Children in nurseries and primary schools will not be expected to wear face coverings or personal protective equipment (PPE) at school. Any child or adult that has been advised or wants to wear a face covering or any PPE will be supported to do so. However, in secondary schools adults and pupils should wear a face covering in certain areas (except if they have a reasonable excuse not to). For more details, see our page on face coverings

What if my child is still unable to attend school?

While most children are able to go back full time, children whose health issues mean they still have to stay at home will have provisions made for them. These may include some online and remote learning. Contact your school for more information about this.

What other plans are in place?

Read our pages on the reopening of schools and preschool childcare for more information on what they will look like when they reopen.

Someone in our household has been shielding, is it safe for my child to go back to school?

Although shielding has now been paused, if someone in your household has been shielding or has been told by their GP that they should continue to be careful, you may be concerned about your child returning to school. If this is the case, talk to the school about any worries you have. They can help you decide what’s best for your child and your family.