Updates, advice and guidance for parents and carers
The population now has much stronger protection against Covid-19 than at any other point in the pandemic. This means the virus can begin to be managed like other respiratory infections, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme and access to antivirals, alongside natural immunity and increased scientific and public understanding about how to manage risk. In light of this and in line with the government’s plans for living with Covid-19, restrictions were lifted from 1 April 2022.
Are schools and settings in Hackney open?
Yes. All schools and early years settings are open as usual and it is expected that all school aged children will attend everyday unless unwell. Please, however, check your school or setting’s website for any local arrangements.
Are children and young people required to undertake regular Covid-19 testing?
Regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any education or childcare setting, including in SEND, alternative provision and children’s social care settings.
Covid-19 vaccination for children and young people
With the lifting of restrictions, vaccination is a really important way to increase protection against Covid-19 and reduce the spread of the virus and is the main way to continue to ensure that children, young people, and any vulnerable family members are protected from Covid-19. Vaccination also minimises the need for children and young people to have time off from school or college and helps them to continue to carry out hobbies, attend social events, travel abroad during the holiday period and live their lives to the full.
For most children and young people, Covid-19 is usually a milder illness that rarely leads to complications. It can, however, affect anyone, with some children and young people being at greater risk of severe disease than others - e.g. those with severe neurodisabilities, severe learning difficulties, down’s syndrome and other serious conditions.
Two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are now available to everyone over the age of 5 years old and can be booked online or by calling 119. Details of walk-in vaccination clinics can also be found at www.nhs.uk/vaccine-walk-in.
Booster vaccines can also be booked online for all individuals over the age of 16, as well some children aged 12 to 15, who have had 2 doses of the vaccine at least 3 months ago. Evidence shows that protection from Omicron is much more effective following a booster dose.
Please note that parental consent is required for children aged 5 to 15. Young people aged over 16 years old can provide consent for vaccinations themselves.
Whilst it is acknowledged that there is a very small risk of side effects, the benefit of vaccination in reducing the risk of catching Covid-19 and / or becoming seriously unwell or dying is evident. Vaccination protects individuals and those around them as well as playing a crucial role in stopping the spread of the virus. We are, therefore, encouraging all adults (age 18 and over), children and young people aged 5 to 15 and young people aged over 16 to take up the offer of vaccination when invited to do so.
Information about vaccination - Make sure any information you share about the vaccine comes from a trusted source. As well as Hackney Council’s website, listed below are some reliable sources of information on vaccination.
- NHS information and flyers:
- Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine
- Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine for children aged 5 to 15.
- Covid-19 vaccination - a guide for children and young people
- Vaccination programme for children and young people - guidance for parents
- What to expect after your Covid-19 vaccination - advice for children and young people (Download translations)
- North East London Health and Care Partnership - Covid-19 vaccination programme (including frequently asked questions)
- Videos to watch with your child - NHS Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 and NHS Covid-19 myth busting video
- A short presentation from Hackney Council Communications team for parents and carers regarding Covid-19 vaccinations for your child
What to do if your child has coronavirus symptoms
Attending education is hugely important for children and young people’s health and their future. Children and young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their setting.
If you suspect you or your child has Covid-19, please follow the guidance set out in the government guidance, People with symptoms of a respiratory infection including Covid-19 or a positive test result. For more information on symptoms, see the latest list of NHS Covid-19 symptoms in adults and symptoms in children.
Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. 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.
If a child or young person has a positive Covid-19 test result they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test. After 3 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.
Adults who have tested positive for Covid-19 are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days.
Are staff and pupils required to wear face coverings?
Government guidance currently sets out that face coverings do not need to be worn in schools and settings.