All Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted from 24 February, including the legal requirement to self-isolate when infected. However, self-isolation is still strongly advised.

Twice-weekly testing is no longer recommended, except to staff and pupils in special and residential schools and special units within mainstream schools.

Although the regulations have been removed, other requirements, such as handwashing/sanitisation, enhanced cleaning and enhanced ventilation, remain in place and must be strictly adhered to.

In addition, although there is no requirement to wear face coverings in classrooms or communal areas, staff should still be permitted to wear face coverings if they choose to do so.

Face coverings must continue to be worn on public transport by pupils aged 11 and over and on dedicated school transport to secondary schools and colleges until 26 January.

The Government’s guidance represents the minimum requirements and schools and colleges are free to enhance these.

School and college employers are ultimately responsible for the safety of staff and pupils and they will need to ensure that they have taken all appropriate steps, including reviewing their existing risk assessments, in light of the latest advice issued by the Government.

NASUWT advice

School and college employers are required to review and take into account the Government’s guidance on reopening. Employers also have a duty in law to review their health and safety arrangements, including updating school and college risk assessments prior to reopening fully to all pupils.

Members are advised to await further advice to be published shortly by the NASUWT.

Where members have concerns about the arrangements or plans in their school/college, they should notify the Union immediately.