This week the government in England announced that some 'critical workers' who are fully vaccinated will be exempt from self-isolating if they are identified as a close contact of a positive coronavirus case.
Under new rules, those classed as critical workers who are fully vaccinated (defined as someone who is 14 days post-final dose) and do not have any coronavirus symptoms can continue to attend their work so long as they take a daily test. This is a temporary measure until the exemption for fully vaccinated contacts is introduced on 16 August. The government states that this decision is "to ensure that services critical to the safety and functioning of our society can continue".
Currently, the early education and childcare workforce is not included in these plans and PACEY is raising this as a matter of urgency with government.
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at PACEY comments:
“Early years and childcare services were classed as a critical during the height of the pandemic when settings were asked to keep their doors open to support children and families and received little financial support or recognition for doing so. So many of our members are telling us how the need to self-isolate is forcing them to temporarily close or change their childminding or nursery provision. This means they lose money (when they are already struggling to remain sustainable) and the families who rely on them lose the support they rely on to be able to go to work.
"This cannot continue and we are urging government to include childcare and early years in the exemption to isolate. If social care, food and other industries can use daily testing then so can our sector. Without childcare and early years services, people cannot go to work.”