Coronavirus: what you need to know

12 February 2020

Official guidance says to take proportionate steps to minimise the chance of any infection spreading. Read this to be clear on what you should be doing, including if staff or children have returned from Hubei or specified countries.

This is an evolving situation, so the advice below may change based on new information.

This article is based on current guidance from Public Health England.

Pupils or staff who’ve just come back from abroad:

If they’ve been in Hubei province in China in the past 14 days and they’re currently well, they should:

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people
  • Call NHS 111 to inform them of their recent travel to the area

If they become unwell, they should:

  • Call NHS 111 immediately
  • Follow Public Health England’s advice

Pupils and staff who’ve been in specified countries in past 14 days:

These are:

  • China (other than Hubei)
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand

If the individual is well, they do not need to avoid contact with other people.

If they become unwell, they should:

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people
  • Follow Public Health England’s advice
  • Call NHS 111 immediately

Pupils and staff with family members who’ve been abroad:

Anyone who has lived with or had close contact (been within 2 metres for 15 minutes or more) with someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus should contact NHS 111 for further advice.

However, if they have family members who’ve travelled to the specified countries or Hubei and who are well, they do not need to:

  • Take any precautions, or
  • Make any changes to their own activities

How to prevent spread of infection:

You are likely taking the steps below already, as they’re the same general principles you use to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus.

  • Wash their hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching eyes, noses and mouths with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • If they feel unwell:
    • Call NHS 111 and do not go to your GP if worried about symptoms
  • Cover their coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a closed bin
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces