Guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19
If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you no longer feel unwell.
It is particularly important to avoid close contact with anyone who you know is at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if they are infected with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, especially those whose immune system means that they are at higher risk of serious illness, despite vaccination.
Children and young people
Children and young people with mild symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their education setting.
Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school, college or childcare, and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend.
Guidance for people who have a positive COVID-19 test result
Adults who have a positive COVID-19 test result, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days after the day you took your test.
At the end of this period, if you have a high temperature or feel unwell, try to follow this advice until you feel well enough to resume normal activities and you no longer have a high temperature if you had one.
Although many people will no longer be infectious to others after five days, some people may be infectious to other people for up to 10 days from the start of their infection. You should avoid meeting people at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell from COVID-19, especially those whose immune system means that they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, despite vaccination, for 10 days after the day you took your test.
Children and young people
If a child or young person has a positive COVID-19 test result they should not attend nursery or school and avoid contact with other people for three days after the day they took the test.
After three days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature, the risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower. This is because children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults.
Symptomatic pupils in a school setting
If a pupil is awaiting collection, they should be left in a room on their own if possible and safe to do so and a window should be opened for fresh air ventilation.
Appropriate PPE should also be used if close contact (within 2 metres) is necessary.
Further information on this can be found in the use of PPE in education, childcare and children’s social care settingsguidance.
Any rooms they use should be cleaned after the symptomatic person has left.
If a parent or carer insists on a symptomatic pupil attending the school or setting, a decision can be taken to refuse the pupil if, in the reasonable judgement of school leadership teams, it is necessary to protect other pupils and staff from possible infection with COVID-19.
Your decision would need to be carefully considered in light of all the circumstances and current public health advice.