Schools and early years centres
What will happen when there is a case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the school?
- Whole classes will no longer be asked to self-isolate if someone in the class tests positive for COVID-19.
- There will be no requirement for your child to self-isolate unless you are contacted by Test and Protect.
- Your child will only be identified as a contact if they have had prolonged close contact with a positive COVID-19 case (for example, living within the same household, overnight stays or any intimate (e.g. kissing) contacts).
What is the definition of a close contact?
The definition of a close contact has changed for children and young people.
For those aged under 18 years, a significant close contact is now:
- Household contacts - for example, parent or sibling
- Overnight stay - for example, sleepovers
- Intimate contact for example, kissing contact
Children are no longer considered to be contacts of one another sitting beside or interacting with one another in the classroom.
What are the main symptoms of COVID-19?
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- new cough;
- high temperature (37.8 or above);
- and/or loss of taste and smell.
There may be other milder, hayfever like symptoms which can include sore throat, runny nose, headaches, vomiting and diarrhoea.
What should I do if my child develops symptoms of COVID-19?
- If your child develops any symptoms of COVID-19, they must not attend school. They should stay at home, self-isolate and book a PCR test. To book a PCR test visit www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or https://www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816.
- All other household members of your child (including yourself) must also stay at home and follow the latest guidance, which can be found on NHS Inform. In the event of a positive result, Test and Protect will contact you to provide tailored advice on what to do.
When can my child return to school after they are identified as a close contact by Test and Protect?
- Test and Protect will inform you if your child has been identified as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19 and provide advice around specific actions you need to take.
- In summary:
- Children under the age of 5 can return to nursery/school if they are symptom free. They do not need to book a PCR test, but this is advised.
- Children aged 5-17 must have a negative PCR test and be symptom free before returning to school. If you decide not to get your child a PCR test, then they must complete their 10 day isolation period and not return to school. Please notify the school of your child's absence should you choose not to get them PCR tested.
Can my child still attend school if someone in their household tests positive for COVID-19?
- Children under the age of 5 can attend nursery/school if they are symptom free. They do not need to book a PCR test, but this is advised.
- Children aged 5-17 must have a negative PCR test and symptom free before returning to school. If you decide not to get your child a PCR test, then they must complete their 10 day isolation period and not return to school. Please notify the school of your child's absence should you choose not to get them PCR tested.
For adults over age of 18 - Do I need to self-isolate if I have been identified as a close contact?
- If you are over 18and double vaccinated (this means more than 14 days have passed since receiving your second vaccine dose), you have a negative PCR and ARE NOTsymptomatic,you do not need to isolate. If you develop symptoms, isolate and book a PCR. If you have been positive in the last 90 days, there is no need to test or isolate unless you develop new COVID-19 symptoms.
- If you over 18andnot fully vaccinatedyou will berequired to complete 10 day isolation even if negative PCR. If you have been positive in the last 90 days, there is no need to test but you will require to self-isolate.
Does my child need to test regularly using lateral flow device (LFD) tests?
- If your child is at secondary school, they can access free LFD tests from the school. This is a choice and is not mandatory for children to do.
- Secondary school aged children (and staff) are encouraged to test twice-weekly, and to record all positive, negative or void results on the online reporting portal at: www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19-report-your-test-result.
Can I and the rest of my family access LFD tests?
- You and the rest of your family, including primary school-aged children, can access free test kits through the Universally Accessible Testing programme, which is available to everyone in Scotland. Free at-home LFD test kits are available for collection from COVID test centres or pharmacies, or delivery by ordering online. www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/no-covid-symptoms.
Can I use LFD tests if I or my child are showing symptoms of COVID-19?
- No, please do not use LFDs if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. If you or your child have symptoms of COVID-19, you should isolate and book a PCR test. To book a PCR test visit www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call the testing helpline on 119.
What can I do to help stop the spread of COVID-19?
- Please try to get into the habit of testing regularly - twice a week. Staff in all schools and all secondary pupils can pick up test kits from their school. It only takes a few minutes to do the test, and you'll have the result in less than 30 minutes.
- If you are 16 years or over book your COVID-19 vaccination. It's our best defence against COVID-19.
- 16 and 17 year olds can self-register for an appointment sent by text or email, or attend a drop-in clinic: https://www.nhsinform.scot/vaccineregistration to register.
- For details of the latest drop-in COVID-19 Vaccination clinics in Ayrshire and Arran, visit https://www.nhsaaa.net/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-appointments/
- Continue to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Be on the lookout for COVID-19 symptoms, if you are concerned; self-isolate and book a PCR test if you feel unwell.
What if I need further information?
Please visit NHS Inform for the most up to date guidance and advice.
What should I do if I need further support (for example financial, social, mental health support) at this time?
If you or someone in your household needs help and support to self-isolate please contact:
National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000 or textphone 0800 111 4114(Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).