From Covid restrictions to personal responsibility: Will people do the right thing?

Can we rely on families “doing the right thing” and keeping children off school if they have symptoms or test positive for Covid? That is the key question playing on the minds of school leaders as self-isolation rules are axed.

As of Thursday (February 24), the legal requirement for people to self-isolate following a positive test is no more. In addition, fully vaccinated close contacts and those aged under-18 are no longer being asked to test daily for seven days.

Routine contact-tracing is also ending and, in schools, regular testing for staff and students is no longer recommended other than for SEND and alternative provision settings and SEND units in mainstream schools.

The Department for Education says that “staff, children and young people who are contacts should attend their education settings as usual”. This includes staff who have been in close contact within their household, “unless they are able to work from home” (DfE, 2022).

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