Latest guidance COVID-19

How to check central government and NHS advice, plus answers to common questions about COVID-19.

Last updated: 15 November 2021 (reviewed daily)

For latest information and guidance on COVID-19, go to GOV.UK or NHS.UK.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Find answers to common questions about COVID-19, including links to national guidance

If you need assistance in transporting your child to receive their COVID vaccine there is support for you.

Suffolk County Council can provide a taxi for eligible children, from their residence, to the nearest vaccine centre and back home again.

Note: Children will need to be accompanied by their parent/carer during transportation and at the vaccination site. Read more about the service here.

The latest government guidance for education settings states that

Our priority is for you to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health.

Schools and trusts should work closely with parents and carers (future references to parents should be read as including carers), staff and unions when agreeing the best approaches for their circumstances.

Additional measures are being introduced within schools within the county of Suffolk from the 1, November 2021:

  • Staff in all education settings (primary, secondary, and higher education) to wear face coverings in communal areas outside of the classroom, unless exempt for medical reasons.
  • Students in all secondary and higher education settings to wear face coverings in communal areas outside of the classroom, unless exempt for medical reasons.
  • All education settings to restrict entry to their site to essential visitors only.
  • Any visitors to wear a face covering while on-site, this includes adults collecting children in the playground.
  • Please note – The measures we outline in our letter dated 6th of October are still in place

Read the updated Public Health Schools Framework (PDF, 690KB).

‘Essential visitors’ should be considered as any visitor essential to the delivery of education opportunities for children and young people. They may include Health, Social Care and specialist education teams delivering direct support to children and young people and visits focussed on safeguarding. Ultimately the decision rests with school and setting leaders based your own risk assessments alongside the latest government guidance. Please consider how you can best implement this (and the other) measures to help to stop the spread of the virus whilst still delivering high-quality education to all pupils.

Pupils, staff and other adults should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do. They should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).

Self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test as soon as possible if you have any of these 3 symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

 

You should also self-isolate straight away if:

  • you've tested positive for COVID-19 – this means you have the virus
  • someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive (unless you are not required to self-isolate – check the answers to the question below if this applies to you)
  • you've been told to self-isolate following contact with someone who tested positive

If someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • you're fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
  • you're under 18 years, 6 months old
  • you're taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Even if you do not have symptoms, you should still:

The Government guidance for providing school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic Providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) (last updated 5 October 2021) states:

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we expect schools to continue supporting children eligible for benefits-related free school meals who are at home during term time.

Where pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals are self-isolating at home, schools should work with their school catering team or food provider to provide good quality lunch parcels. This will ensure that eligible pupils continue to be supported for the short period where they are unable to attend school.

School and setting leaders may consider whether offering supermarket vouchers would be a better option for these families.

Staff and students attending Secondary education settings are to wear face coverings in communal areas and classrooms in the school, unless exempt for medical reasons. This does not include outdoor areas unless in such circumstances that distancing cannot be maintained for e.g., queuing at entrances to get into the school after outdoor activities. However, Schools will need to carry out their own risk assessment and provide advice accordingly.  

Schools will introduce their own online provision; they will assess and manage this. Please consult the school for further information.

These can be picked up at chemists and libraries throughout Suffolk or ordered online  via Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

You can order a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (Covid 19) whether you have symptoms or not via this website Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) You can order a PCR test kit to be sent to your home or book an appointment at a walk -in or drive -in test.

If you have problems or cannot use the online service, call 119, lines are open 7am to 11pm.

This will be a decision by all those involved based on the school or setting’s risk assessment. Adjustments may be made such as meeting in ventilated or outdoor spaces and with face coverings.

This will be a decision by all those involved based on the school or setting’s risk assessment. Adjustments may be made such as meeting in ventilated or outdoor spaces and with face coverings.

Schools will decide what events or activities take place on their premises in line with their risk assessment and mitigating covid secure measures. Please speak with your school for further information.

This will be a decision by all those involved based on the school or setting’s risk assessment. Adjustments may be made such as meeting in ventilated or outdoor spaces and with face coverings. The school will assess whether additional measures are required, please speak with the school for further information.

Schools COVID-19 operational guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

List of vaccination clinics for 12 to 15 year olds can be found at this link https://www.swiftqueue.co.uk/hertfordshire-vax-eput.php

This information is provided in Suffolk & North East Essex covid vaccine website www.sneevaccine.org.uk and send enquiries about vaccinations (not CYP vaccinations) to: srfmassvac.cell@suffolk.gov.uk

As of Saturday 23, October 2021, 12-15 year olds can book through the national vaccine website   Book or manage a 1st or 2nd dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk) 

Since COVID-19 began to spread quickly in China, it has been a major global news story and with this level of media and public interest it’s inevitable that myths, misinformation and rumours will be shared online.

The UK Government and the NHS will keep people informed of new advice and developments.

Please check the following sources of advice frequently:

Yes, Domestic Abuse support services are still available to you.

For some, having to isolate at home as a family will be a truly frightening experience. To them we say, "you are not alone".

The number of domestic abuse incidents will rise during the coronavirus outbreak. Being asked to stay at home, uncertainty over jobs and money may lead to increased stress within households.

COVID-19 is not an excuse for abuse.

  • National Domestic Violence 24 hour helpline – 0808 200 0247
  • Respect Phoneline 'Are you hurting the one you love? Choose to stop' – 0808 802 4040
  • In an emergency call 999 and use the silent solution:

If speaking or making an immediate sound would put you in danger and you need immediate help, call 999 and stay on the line, then press 55 when prompted and the call will be transferred to the police, who will know it is an emergency call.