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Coronavirus Update

20 January 2022

Updated Covid Guidance

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that all Plan B measures will be removed in England, with a full return to Plan A by Thursday 27 January.   For us at college, this means: from today, Thursday 20 January, face coverings are no longer recommended in classrooms and teaching spaces for staff and students.

From next Thursday, 27 January, face coverings are no longer recommended in communal areas for staff and students.

Please continue regular and thorough hand washing; this and the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important.


As of Monday 17 January, people who are self-isolating with COVID-19 have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6.

The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 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 of their tests 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.

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.


Confirmation PCR Tests

As of 12 January, there is the temporary suspension of confirmatory PCR tests in education and childcare settings.

For us, this means that any staff and students who have tested and reported a positive LFD result will no longer be advised to get a confirmatory PCR test unless they:

  • have symptoms (in which case they need to follow the stay at home guidance, self-isolate and order a PCR test)
  • have been advised to take a PCR test because they are in a clinically vulnerable group
  • have been advised to do so as part of a research or surveillance programme.


Covid Symptoms

If you have covid symptoms, please do not come into college. 

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
  • if you have any of these symptoms, get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have coronavirus and stay at home until you get your result, even if the symptoms are mild.

Changes for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days were previously exempt from LFD testing.

This has now changed. Even if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are strongly encouraged to take part in LFD testing, once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection.