It will not always be the case that the whole year group or bubble has to isolate if a pupil in that bubble tests positive for COVID-19.
Our guidance is clear that schools should be identifying close contacts of positive cases who should then isolate. Close contacts can be anyone who:
- lives in the same household as someone with COVID-19 symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19
- has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19:
- face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within 1 metre
- been within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer without face-to-face contact
- been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact or added up together over 1 day)
- travelled in the same vehicle or a plane
We trust school leaders to make these judgments and in the vast majority of cases they are following the guidance correctly. Schools and colleges can receive support on identifying close contacts through the dedicated advice service, or their local PHE health protection team if escalated.