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Self-Isolation Guidance

Guidance from 19/07/2021

Changes to contact tracing in education and childcare settings


Self-isolation and/or testing of close contacts

  1. At present, anyone identified as a close contact is legally required to self-isolate and must not attend their education or childcare setting (the only exception is if they are participating in a daily contact testing trial). Anyone identified as a  non-household close contact by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the date of their most recent contact with that person. If they live in the same household, they must self-isolate until 10 days after the date of that person developing symptoms (see point 1 above) or, if that person was asymptomatic, the date of their test (see point 2 above). NHS Test and Trace will notify you of the day on which the self-isolation period ends.
  2. Close contacts are also advised to take a PCR test. If the test result is negative, they must still complete the full self-isolation period, as the test will not detect all positive cases. If the result is positive, they will need to self-isolate for a further 10 days – and NHS Test and Trace will contact them to identify any close contacts.
  3. From 16 August, if the close contact is under 18, they will not have to self-isolate (in line with the policy for fully vaccinated adults) but will be asked to take an PCR test immediately, other than for very young children identified as non-household contacts, and they will not need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of the test. If the PCR test is positive, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the test. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch to identify close contacts.

Guidance up to 18/07/2021

What Is The Self-Isolation Period?


If you have had a positive COVID-19 test (LFD or PCR) or have been identified as a 'close contact' of a potential COVID-19 case, you will be asked to self-isolate for ten days


If you are self-isolating following a test, or due to close contact with a confirmed case from school, we will provide you with the following information:


Case's Contagious & Self-Isolation Period


2 days prior to symptoms


Day zero (first day of symptoms/ of test, if no symptoms)


Day ten (last day of self-isolation)


Day eleven (can resume normal activities, e.g. return to school/ work, on or after)



Self-isolation due to close contact (10 days)


Day zero (last time/ day of contact with confirmed case)


Day ten (last day of self-isolation)


Day eleven (can resume normal activities, e.g. return to school/ work, on or after)



If you are instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or another agency, please contact school and provide us with the following information:

Self-isolation due to close contact (10 days)


Close contact was withsomeone from school/ family/ other

Day zero (last time/ day of contact with confirmed case)


Day ten (last day of self-isolation)


Day eleven (can resume normal activities, e.g. return to school/ work, on or after)



If you are not contacted by the school or NHS Track and Trace you do not need to take further action: the school remains open and providing you/ your child remains well you/ they can continue to attend school as normal. 


If you are not alerted by school or NHS Track and Trace but you believe that you/ your child need to self-isolate please email the school on and request an email/ phone call back.

Who Needs To Self-Isolate?

Anyone who has had close contact with a suspected or confirmed case must self-isolate.

Close contact is defined here:

Do Household Members Need To Self-Isolate?




All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. 


Their 10-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. 


Household members should not go to work, school, or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home. 


Siblings who live with a suspected or confirmed case must not come into school during the self-isolation period.


Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community 


If you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period. 

Isolating after a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test - DfE Guidance (12/03/2021)

'We have heard from schools that some parents are frustrated that their children have been sent home from school as a result of receiving a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result or being a close contact of someone who has tested positive, particularly if they have then obtained a PCR test for their child and they have tested negative on that. You may want to use the following text with any parents who raise this as an issue with you:

As schools return to full attendance, we understand parents’ frustration when their child is asked to isolate at home either after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or because of being in close contact of someone who has tested positive.

However self-isolation is one of the most important things we can do to help stop the spread of the virus and help protect our friends, family and our community. Around one in three people with coronavirus (COVID-19) have no symptoms, and so finding and isolating these hidden cases quickly will help to stop outbreaks before they get a chance to develop.

If your child has tested positive having been tested using a lateral flow device (LFD) test at school, they do not need a PCR confirmation because these tests are done in a supervised environment. Lateral flow device tests are at least 99.9% specific, meaning the likelihood of a false positive is extremely low – less than 1 in every 1,000. PCR testing will always carry a risk of producing false negatives. At the moment, carrying out LFD tests in supervised conditions and not carrying out confirmatory PCR testing means we capture the maximum possible number of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections during the initial return to school period.

Once your child starts testing at home using lateral flow tests, positive results must be followed up with a confirmatory PCR test (as these tests are not conducted in a controlled environment).'