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Coronavirus guidance

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microphones and a blurred background of what looks like a press conference

Today, Wednesday 26 February, there has been widespread media coverage on school closures amid concerns around Coronavirus.

This morning we sent updated PHE guidance to all early years providers, schools, further education settings and higher education institutions, reiterating the latest guidance and advice from Public Health England.

The guidance states those returning to education settings from trips overseas do not need to take any action beyond that advised for the wider population.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has today also made a statement to the House reassuring schools that may have concerns:

Mr Speaker, in the past few days we have published guidance for schools, employers, first responders, social care and the travel industry on how to handle suspected cases.

If anyone has been in contact with a suspected case in a childcare or an educational setting, no special measures are required while test results are awaited.

There is no need to close the school or send other students or staff home.

Once the results arrive, those who test negative will be advised individually about returning to education.

In most cases, closure of the childcare or education setting will be unnecessary, but this will be a local decision based on various factors including professional advice.

Schools should be guided by the advice on GOV.UK and contact their regional school commissioner in case of queries.

Full guidance for educational settings is available online as well as the full government advice and information on the virus.

The Department of Health and Social Care is updating this guidance every day at 2pm until further notice.

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