End of Plan B
20 January 2022
The Prime Minister announced on 19 January that all Plan B measures will be removed in England, with a full return to Plan A by Thursday 27 January. In education and childcare settings, this means:
- Face coverings are no longer recommended in classrooms and teaching spaces for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above. They were introduced in classrooms at the start of the spring term as a temporary measure.
- From Thursday 27 January, face coverings are no longer recommended in communal areas for staff, and pupils and students in year 7 and above.
Changes to the self-isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19
17 January 2022
This change came into effect in England on Monday 17 January and applies to all positive cases, regardless of vaccination status.
People who are self-isolating with COVID-19 have the option to reduce their isolation period after five full days if they test negative with an LFD test on both day five and day six and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day five and the morning of day six, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day six.
The first test must be taken no earlier than day five of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace.
If the result of either test is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest.
The new rules also apply to people who are already isolating – so if someone was already isolating before Monday 17 January, they can take LFD tests on day five and six and if they are both negative and they have no temperature they can end their isolation.
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10-day period of self-isolation.
Further information on self-isolation for those with COVID-19 is available.
Temporary confirmatory PCR suspension
11 January 2022
Confirmatory PCR tests are no longer required for positive Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) for people without symptoms.
Anyone who develops one of the three main Covid symptoms - a cough, a fever or a loss of taste or smell - must still take a PCR test as soon as possible, and should stay at home and self-isolate while they wait for the result.
Anyone who receives a positive LFT result should report their result on gov.uk and they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced.
There are a few exceptions to this revised approach:
- People who are eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP) will still be asked to take a confirmatory PCR if they receive a positive LFT result to enable them to access financial support.
- People participating in research or surveillance programmes may still be asked to take a follow-up PCR test, according to the research or surveillance protocol.
- Around one million people in England who are at particular risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 have been identified by the NHS as being potentially eligible for new treatments. They will be receiving a PCR test kit at home by mid-January to use if they develop symptoms or if they get a positive LFT result, as they may be eligible for new treatments if they receive a positive PCR result. This group should use these priority PCR tests when they have symptoms as it will enable prioritised laboratory handling.
Health and Wellbeing
Facts and figures
Who to contact
For specific advice from Islington Council, please email IslingtonCS support
To report a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your school or setting see the information about what to do when there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your setting
For general coronavirus advice for you, staff or families email the DfE helpline or call 0800 046 8687
For advice for specific situations contact For advice if you are approached by local or national media about COVID-19 email Islington Council's media team or call 020 7527 2307