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NEWS: Updated advice on Coronavirus (19 Feb)

**First published on 13 February, last updated 19 February**

The government has updated its advice to early years providers, schools and further education providers about the Coronavirus outbreak, distributed via local authority teams in England and via the Welsh Government in Wales.

The government is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus and is taking action at home and abroad. The overall risk of Coronavirus to the UK remains moderate. However people may be concerned where there are children, students or staff returning from or visiting China.

Public Health England advice for individuals who have travelled recently as follows:

Travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province - If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area

Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

Travellers from other parts of China and other specified areas - This advice applies to travellers who have returned to the UK from the following areas:

  • Elsewhere in China
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

If you have returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country

Advice for parents/guardians

Parents/guardians should not be unduly worried about the possibility of their children catching the Coronavirus. There is no reason why children should not continue to attend all early years, school or further education setting as normal.

Some families or children may be planning to travel to China during the half term period. If so, please share and refer to the latest travel advice via the links below.

Encouraging good hygiene

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

  • 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.

Display information posters in your setting

  

Latest information

Public Health Wales have also issued a statement with some guidance which is helpful for providers. A statement from the Welsh Government Childcare and Play Policy Team notes: "You will wish to be aware of the advice on the Public Health Wales (PHW) website in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak. Although as of 12 February 2020 there are no confirmed cases in Wales, PHW has issued advice on how you can protect yourselves and others during this period. The PHW website also provides useful links to further advice from the Welsh and UK Governments and frequently asked questions.

"It may be necessary for the Welsh Government to return to you with further sector-specific advice as the situation develops, but in the meantime we would encourage all childcare and play settings to familiarise themselves with the official advice available on the above website and to take appropriate precautions."