On 6 July, the Department for Education (DfE) published updated guidance to be followed once Step 4 of the roadmap commences on 19 July. This has now been updated to include clarification on face coverings and contact tracing.
Key changes at Step 4 include:
- No longer recommending that it is necessary to keep groups apart as much as possible.
- Settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing but may be contacted to help with identifying close contacts. DfE have produced guidance, FAQs and a template letter for settings to send to parents. These can be found here.
- From 16 August, children under the age of 18 will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case but they will be advised to take a PCR test.
- Face coverings will no longer be recommended for staff and visitors in corridors or communal areas. While the Government is removing the requirement to wear face coverings in law, guidance notes that it expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. This includes public transport.
- Parent and child groups can operate as normal and without restrictions in attendance.
DfE have developed a new FAQs document to answer your questions on the Step 4 guidance for early years settings. This covers:
- Contact tracing
- Social distancing / self-isolation / testing
- Face coverings
- Data collections
- + more
Please send any further questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help keep early years settings informed on what Step 4 changes mean for them, DfE have recorded a webinar which provides information on the key changes to COVID-19 measures. The information in the video applies to all early years settings. You can view the webinar here.