Yesterday’s Government Announcement
- Requires people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
- Non-essential shops and community spaces will be closed
- All gatherings of more than two people in public will be stopped.
Every citizen must comply with these new measures.
The new instructions state that you should only leave the house for one of four reasons:
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
You can read more information here.
Sending Your Child / Children To School
If it is at all possible for your children to be at home, then they should be.
Schools have set up to continue your child’s education while the school is closed, and for teachers to be in contact with them. Please see Learning At Home below for more information on this.
Parents should not rely for childcare on those who are advised to be in the strict social distancing category – such as grandparents or friends, or family members with underlying health conditions.
Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. Children should observe the same social distancing principles as adults. Please see Staying Safe below.
IF your child needs specialist support;
or is vulnerable;
or has a parent who is a critical key worker
AND you are not able to make childcare arrangements that follow the advice above ….
then you should send your child to your school. Your school will have contacted you with details of school day times and arrangements during the school closure period. These are also on your school’s website (see the links below).
Learning At Home
On your school website you will find information for you and your children about what school-work they should be doing while they are at home; how they should do it; when they should dial in to lessons; how they can contact their teachers with questions and how their teachers will contact them.
There is also information for parents and carers on how you can help your child to learn effectively at home, and other advice on important areas such as mental health and exercise.
Please visit you school’s website page from the links below:
The NHS advises:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
Is my child in the group the Government says needs specialist support or is vulnerable?
Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
Am I or is my husband, wife or partner a Critical or Key Worker?
The Government has published a full list of roles that are “critical” or “key” workers. These are what all schools must follow. It has said that these are:
Health and social care
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other front-line health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
This includes childcare, support and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key front-line services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
Public safety and national security
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above, they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
Picture courtesy of BBC News