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What does "Plan B" mean for educational institutions?

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What does "Plan B" mean for educational institutions?

As a result of the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, and the discovery that it seems to have a significant reproduction number, the Prime Minister yesterday announced the implementation of “Plan B”. Today, the Department for Education has provided detail on what this means for schools, colleges, universities and early years settings:

  1. Schools will not close early for the Christmas break, attendance at school by pupils remains mandatory.
  2. The Department for Education’s most recent new measures, put in place at the end of November (see my blog Omicron variant - new measures by the Department for Education), still apply in respect of face coverings. They need not be worn in the classroom.
  3. Nativities and Christmas events may still go ahead.
  4. Educational institutions are advised that they should encourage those going to events to take a test before attending. Institutions should also be encouraging the wearing of face masks at such events and ensuring that they are held in well-ventilated spaces.
  5. Asymptomatic testing should take place. Staff in all settings and secondary school-age children should continue to test twice weekly at home with lateral flow tests, 3-4 days apart, for the remainder of the autumn term and in the spring term.
  6. Those that attend education settings during the Christmas break should continue to test twice weekly. Those that do not “may wish” to take lateral flow tests if they attend places where they are more likely to catch or spread the virus.
  7. Schools and colleges are “strongly encouraged” to ask parents and visitors to take lateral flow tests before entering a school or college.

If you have any questions relating to the Department for Education’s latest update, please give me a call on 01245 453847 or send an email to