Coronavirus Information 16th October 2020

16th October 2020

This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

New local COVID alert levels

On 12 October the Prime Minister announced how the government will further simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a system of local COVID alert levels in England.

The previously published tiers of restriction for education and childcare, summarised in annex 3 of the contain framework, work alongside the new local COVID alert level framework.

At all local COVID alert levels, the expectation is that education and childcare provision should continue as normal. The government has been very clear that limiting attendance at schools and other education settings should only be done as a last resort, even in areas where a local alert level is ‘high’ or ‘very high’. Decisions on any restrictions necessary in education or childcare settings are taken separately on a case-by-case basis in the light of local circumstances, including information about the incidence and transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Free school travel: funding allocations

We have updated the local authority additional school and college transport capacity funding allocations for home-to-school travel for children from low-income families.

The update provides new information on the funding local authorities will receive to support additional dedicated school and college transport for the Autumn term. This is to reflect current social distancing requirements on public transport during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline opening hours

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.

Please listen carefully to all of the available options before selecting the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university.

Please select option 1 or 2 if you require specific advice on the action to take to respond to a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your setting. This option will take you through to a dedicated team of NHS Business Services Authority advisors who will work through a risk assessment with you to identify close contacts and will inform you what action is needed based on the latest public health advice.

Please select option 3 or 4 for any other questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm

The information below hasn’t changed since our last update

Public Health England’s (PHE) dedicated advice service opening hours

Public Health England’s (PHE) dedicated advice service is available to early years providers, schools, colleges and out of school settings. The service provides support on the actions staff should take when they have been informed of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in their setting (i.e. a pupil or staff member testing positive).

Phone: 0800 046 8687 – option 1 to report a positive test within your setting

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm

You should continue to inform your local authority of a positive case in your setting.

Look up your unique organisation number (UON)

If you have not received your unique organisation number (UON) for ordering new coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits you can can look it up using your unique reference number (URN) or your UK provider reference number (UKPRN) or by calling the Test and Trace helpdesk on 119

Department for Education guidance

Our guidance to support education providers, local authorities and parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be accessed using the links below: