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NEWS: Coronavirus COVID-19 update

2 March update - Please go to for the latest information.

The UK government has updated its advice about the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak. While the risk to individuals remains low, the risk to the UK is moderate. Based on scientific evidence, the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

Anyone who has returned from the following specific areas since 19 February, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, even if they do not have symptoms:

Anyone who has returned from the following areas since 19 February and develops symptoms, however mild, should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111:

  • northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

If you have a cough, or fever or shortness of breath and have visited any of the following areas in the last 14 days, stay indoors and call NHS 111 informing them of your recent travel:

  • China, apart from Hubei province 
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea, apart from special care zones 
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

What does this mean for me?

This may impact on your childcare business. In the contract you have with parents it should specify your payment arrangements if either you, or the child, is unable to attend due to sickness. The Guidance Notes in the PACEY childminding contract recommend that in the case of a child’s non-attendance due to sickness the fee should be charged, as the childminding service is available but not being used. No fee should be charged in the event that the setting is closed due to the childminder’s sickness, as the contracted service is not available. It may be possible for you to suggest an alternative registered carer who is known to the child to help maintain childcare cover for the family.

What should I do next? 

This is a rapidly evolving situation so please read the the most up to date advice is available.

Encouraging good hygiene

As always, if you have symptoms of a cold or flu, then there are measures you can take to stop germs spreading:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

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