Update on the Coronavirus

There is currently an outbreak of a novel coronavirus (now called COVID-19) with the focus in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which has been receiving extensive media attention and public interest. While there have been confirmed cases within the UK, there is no evidence of a person to person transmission and the risk is considered low. 

The Government and the NHS are well prepared to deal with the virus. Public Health England and the Department for Health and Social Care have issued the below advice regarding novel coronavirus. This guidance is regularly updated and you can find up to date advice here.

Advice for the general population including parents/carers and educational settings

The Government and NHS are well prepared to deal with this virus. The public can help too, by taking the following measures:

  • We would encourage you to remind your staff and students of the importance of good hygiene practice. Always carry tissues and coughing and sneezing should be into tissues that are promptly disposed of in bins. Hands should be washed with soap and water or using an alcohol hand rub even if hands are visibly clean. This is good practice in preventing illness from a range of viruses.
  • Should you wish to display this information, posters can be found here.

Advice for individuals returning from China

  • If students, parents, staff or other individuals have returned from China or other East Asian countries in the last 14 days, there are specific public health actions they are recommended to take:

Travelers from Wuhan and Hubei Province

If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area.
  • please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

Travelers from elsewhere in China and East Asia 

If you have traveled from elsewhere in China (but not Macao or Hong Kong) to the UK in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country.  Do not go to your GP or to A&E. 
  • please follow this advice even if your symptoms are minor

China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau

There is currently no advice, or recommended actions to be taken, around travelers from China (outside of Wuhan and Hubei province) that do not have any symptoms.

Travel Advice

  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are now advising against ALL travel to Hubei Province and against all but essential travel to mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). Any updates to travel advice will be published on GOV.UK

If an individual who has returned from East Asia in the past 14 days becomes unwell in an educational setting:

Keep 2 metres away from others and if possible find a room or area where you can isolate yourself behind a shut door, such as a staff office or unused classroom. Make sure that children know to tell a teacher if they feel unwell. If it’s possible to open a window, do so for ventilation. If you need to go to the bathroom whilst waiting for medical assistance, use a separate bathroom if available.

Call NHS 111, or 999 if an emergency (if you are seriously ill or injured or your life is at risk), and tell them that you have returned from China in the last 14 days.

Information for parents

At this moment, we are not requiring educational settings to communicate with parents on this issue. However, if schools wish to inform parents around the latest situation, a sample letter has been prepared, which repeats much of the advice given within this briefing.

We may make a request of schools to contact parents in relation to this at a later date.

Further questions

If you have further questions around the Coronavirus, that you feel are not covered by the national guidance and advice, then please contact public health.