Returning to school and returning to work

We have received many queries about whether it is safe for children to return to school or adults to return to work.

Please look at the guidance on the government website as this is comprehensive and answers most questions.

In relation to schools

In relation to work places

Which advice applies to me?

For the purposes of the guidance on the government website, the

Extremely clinically vulnerable group (also known as the shielding group) are those people who have received a government letter advising them to shield. Individuals with the following medical conditions will be amongst this group.

1. Solid organ transplant recipients.

2. People with specific cancers:

  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
  • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs

3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary (COPD).

4. People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell).

5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.

6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

Clinically vulnerable (also known as ‘high risk’) are those individuals who have conditions such as asthma and diabetes. If you receive an annual flu jab, you will be in this group. These people have been advised to follow stringent social distancing advice.

What to do if there is a disagreement about returning to work?

If you feel that it is unsafe for you to return to work or for a child to return to school, please discuss it with the workplace or school in the first instance. These matters should be resolved without the need for the GP to be involved. Workplaces and employees should seek the advice of occupational health services or ACAS to resolve disputes in the first instance.