The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, has announced that COVID-19 measures for schools in Wales will be brought into line with guidance for businesses and other organisations.
The Welsh Government has written to schools in Wales this morning to inform them of the changes.
Since September last year, schools have applied measures to stop the spread of Coronavirus according to local circumstances, based on the Local COVID-19 infection control decision framework for schools. Schools will no longer be advised to use the framework.
The change is in line with the Welsh Government’s long-term COVID-19 transition from pandemic to endemic. The risk from coronavirus is now considered in the same context as other communicable diseases, such as flu.
The First Minister has announced that the remaining coronavirus restrictions will be removed from 9 May, if the public health situation remained stable. The changes to the guidance for schools will also come into effect from 9 May.
Schools and other education settings will continue to be advised to work with local authorities and public health advisors to ensure that measures remain appropriate and proportionate and reflect local risks and circumstances.
A checklist will be provided to support schools and settings in considering which control measures remain proportionate. Special schools will continue to follow the advice for children and young people with higher clinical risk and clinically extremely vulnerable adults.
Speaking at the Welsh Government’s weekly press briefing, Jeremy Miles said:
In line with the wider public health guidance published at the last three-week review, we have today written to headteachers to signpost the impending changes to our advice for schools, which reflect the move from pandemic to endemic. This will ensure school guidance is more closely aligned with the rest of society.
We all know that COVID-19 has not gone way. It remains vitally important we reduce the spread of the virus where we can, this includes, for example, following self-isolation guidance, and for education settings to continue to undertake robust risk assessments.