Education Minister Dr Alex Allinson has said his department is confident about the return of students and teachers to schools tomorrow morning.

Chief Minister HQ confirmed today that despite the two community cases of Covid-19, the Council of Ministers have decided against new social distancing restrictions or school closures at this time.

Speaking to Gef after today’s briefing, Dr Al confirmed that teachers can access routine testing whether they feel ill or not.

He said: ‘From the beginning of this pandemic the safety of schools, teachers and staff have been a key priority. The health of our pupils and students is paramount, but so is their wellbeing and education. Primary school attendance last week was around 96.6% showing that parents had confidence in our schools. We are working together with teachers to maintain this level of trust and support.

’I would like to thank all those school staff who have been working with the track and trace team over the last two weeks to contain this cluster of cases. We have no evidence of any spread to a school or risk of ongoing infection within an educational setting.
On the basis of this and advice from Public Health we are confident that schools, nurseries and University College can open as usual tomorrow morning.

‘All students are reminded not to go to school if they feel unwell, and to contact 111 for advice if they have any suspicious symptoms. We have already extended routine testing to all teachers and other school staff and would invite them to use this option even if they do not feel unwell.’

A gov statesman said today that CoMin will ‘continue to closely monitor the situation over the coming days’.

They added: ‘The public are encouraged to continue to be extra vigilant and to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene. If anyone has any Covid-like symptoms – even where they seem mild – they should self-isolate immediately and contact the COVID-111 service between 8am and 8pm.’

Symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • a temperature of more than 37.8C (100F)

  • OR, a new and persistent cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (for people who usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

  • OR, anosmia – this is the loss of or a change in someone’s normal sense of smell, which can also affect sense of taste as the two are closely linked

  • OR, shortness of breath.