New advice to stop Covid spreading has been issued by City of York Council as children return to school this week.
Pupils will find many of last term’s Covid restrictions have gone, such as bubbles and self-isolation for contacts.
However, some secondary schools in the city are asking for face coverings to be worn in corridors and crowded areas until the end of September.
And all schools still have to make sure regular hand washing routines are in place and that classrooms get enough fresh air and ventilation.
The government is also wants every secondary school pupil to have two symptom-free tests in the week before they return to school – and then takes regular tests over the coming months.
Letters went out to all secondary pupils in York over the summer from City of York’s director of public health, Sharon Stoltz, setting out how to get symptom-free tests – and how any new Y7 starters, who may not be used to taking the tests at home, can get tested in person.
Parents are reminded to make sure their secondary children continue to take these tests regularly. Information on how to get a test can be found here.
Anyone with symptoms of Covid should stay off school and order a PCR test.
Pupils under 18 who live with someone who has Covid symptoms should also order a PCR test.
But they no longer need to self isolate or stay off school unless they develop symptoms or test positive.
However the council asks them to take any steps they can to reduce the risk of spread, such as keeping 2m apart from others (where possible), for the ten days they would have been isolating previously.
The council’s executive member for children, young people and education Cllr Ian Cuthbertson said: “The beginning of a new school year is always exciting, especially for new starters in Reception, Year 3 and Year 7.
“Pupils, parents and school staff have worked so hard over the last two years through the pandemic, and we hope this year will be a positive one with much less disruption, so that everyone can concentrate on the importance and enjoyment of learning.
“It’s still vital that we all do our bit to stop Covid from spreading, so please follow the instructions given by your child’s school and remember that secondary students need to get tested regularly.”
For more information go to the council’s parents and students page.