If your child has any of the main symptoms of Covid-19:

  • Get a test to check if they have Covid-19 as soon as possible.
  • Stay at home and do not come into school – only leave home to have a test.
  • Your child and anyone they live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get the test result.

The main symptoms of Covid-19 are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with Covid-19 have at least 1 of these symptoms.

If your child has symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19, they’ll usually need to self-isolate and stay away from school for at least 10 days. (10 days from onset of symptoms or the positive test date)

Ending isolation if your child has Covid-19

After 10 days, if your child feels better and no longer has symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste they can return to school.

What to do if you or your child lives with anyone who has coronavirus symptoms or who tests positive

They will usually need to self-isolate for 14 days if:

  • someone they live with has symptoms or tested positive (from either onset of their symptoms or date of a positive test)
  • someone in their support bubble has symptoms or tested positive (from either onset of their symptoms or date of a positive test)
  • you’ve been told by NHS Test and Trace that they’ve been in contact with someone who has coronavirus

Ending a 14-day isolation period where your child has had no symptoms or has not tested positive for Covid-19

Your child and everyone else in the household and social bubble who remains well should end their isolation after 14 days. People in the household who remain well after 14 days are unlikely to be infectious.

If your child or anyone in the household becomes unwell during the 14-day period, they should arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID-19. If their test result is positive, they must follow the same advice for people with COVID-19 symptoms – that is, after 10 days of their symptoms starting, if they feel better and no longer have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell or taste – they can also return to their normal routine. However, if their test result is negative, they must continue with isolation as part of the household for the full 14 days.

Should someone develop COVID-19 symptoms late in the 14-day household isolation period (for example, on day 10 or later) the isolation period for the rest of the household does not need to be extended. Only the person with new COVID-19 symptoms has to stay at home for at least a further 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID-19.

At the end of the 14-day period, anyone in the household who has not become unwell can return to their normal routine.

More detailed information about Coronavirus, testing and isolation periods is available on the NHS and GOV.UK websites.