On 20 December 2020, the UK Government published updated Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

The Government’s updated advice is as follows:

‘Everyone is currently advised to work from home where possible. As a general principle, working from home reduces the chance of you being exposed to the virus.

If you need support to work at home or in the workplace you can apply for Access to Work. Access to Work will provide support for the disability-related extra costs of working that are beyond standard reasonable adjustments an employer must provide.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people should not go to the workplace if they live or work in areas where shielding advice is active. Currently this applies to Tier 4 areas only. Otherwise, if you cannot work from home, you can still go to work in Tiers 1, 2 and 3.’

The Government has confirmed that ‘shielding advice is currently in place in Tier 4, so all children still deemed clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school. Children and young people whose parents or carers are clinically extremely vulnerable can continue to go to school.’

The NASUWT is seeking urgent confirmation regarding the application of the general public health advice in relation to staff working in schools and colleges.