Covid rules in schools: the restrictions being changed in Leeds - including face masks in classrooms, isolation periods and travel tests

England is set to move to 'Plan A' this week with changes to rules across the country.

By Abi Whistance
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 11:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 4:54 pm

Boris Johnson announced last week that England would be moving to plan A after the Omicron wave hit its peak.

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Under plan B, people had to wear masks in shops and on public transport, and were advised to work from home when possible.

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Face masks in classrooms will no longer be required from Thursday, the Government has announced, but NEU teachers' union have warned that the move is "premature". Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

Many of these rules are now set to change this week, with the most notable differences coming in to play in schools and classrooms across Leeds.

Here are the new rules under plan A and what they mean for face masks, school rules and working from home.

Where do I need to wear a face mask?

In classrooms children will no longer be required from Thursday 20 January - even earlier than expected.

This will then be followed by an end to their use in communal areas in schools from Thursday 27 January.

Also from Thursday 27 January it will no longer be a legal requirement to wear face masks anywhere, including on public transport or in shops.

However, some businesses and organisations, for example transport operators or shops, may still request that people wear them, which means you can be refused access if you do not wear one.

Do I need to work from home?

The work from home guidance is no longer a requirement as of Wednesday 19 January.

However, similar to wearing masks, individual employers may delay a return to the office or implement a cautious or phased approach to returning.

Do I need a vaccine passport?

A Covid passport, or Covid pass, will no longer be a requirement for venues, however some may choose to keep it as a safety precaution.

Health secretary Sajid Javid has said that the government was reviewing the definition of fully vaccinated, and may decide to increase this from two jabs to three.

Do I need to isolate if I get Covid?

Yes, self-isolation is still a legal requirement for people who have coronavirus.

Earlier this month the isolation period was reduced from seven to five days, as long as people obtain two negative tests on day five and day six of their isolation.

Boris Johnson has said he plans to remove the requirement to isolate when the regulations expire in March, meaning that the approach to Covid would be comparable to endemic viruses such as the flu.

Do I need the vaccine to travel?

People arriving in England or Scotland from abroad will no longer have to take Covid tests if they are fully vaccinated from 4am on 11 February.

People without the vaccine will still need to take pre-departure and day two tests, however rules will be eased in February so they no longer have to take a day eight test or self isolate.

Everyone arriving in England and Scotland, regardless of vaccination status, will also need to fill in a passenger locator form.

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