Government advice and guidance - Coronavirus

This page shares the latest information from government as well as links to guidance.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

Main messages 

  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (The ending isolation section below has more information)
  • If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. See the explanatory diagram
  • For anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. The ending isolation section below has more information, and see the explanatory diagram
  • It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • If you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • If you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
  • If you have coronavirus symptoms:
    • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
    • you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
    • testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999


Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers
Information for parents and carers about the closure of schools and other educational settings following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

COVID-19: guidance for educational settings
Guidance for schools and other educational settings in providing advice about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): early years and childcare closures
Guidance for local authorities, early years settings and childminders about childcare provision following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on vulnerable children and young people
Questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people (updated 25/3/2020).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings
Guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Travel Advice for Educational Settings
Advice for educational settings, and their students and staff, who are travelling or planning to travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Coronavirus business hub on GOV.UK
The new business hub on GOV.UK is the first point of call for people seeking government information on support for business. 



Coronavirus and childcare provision : Guidance on childcare for parents and childcare providers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Information for Wales : Here you will find the government advice from Wales and PACEY Cymru.

Taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in the workplace : This document includes reference to childcare and education settings where it states: 'where a service or business is responsible for looking after or working with children or vulnerable adults, it would not be reasonable to institute rigid physical distancing.  In addition, safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults must not be compromised.'

How should schools and childcare settings implement social distancing? : Welsh Government guidance on social distancing in schools and settings.


Claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Guidance for employers on the coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme.

Further advice on financial support, FAQs and more can be found here.

Travel (including air travel)

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice is constantly under review to reflect the latest assessment of risks to British people.

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. You must check the travel advice for the country you are travelling to as this is changing on a daily basis.

As governments and local authorities bring in measures to control the spread of the virus, some airlines are changing their schedules or suspending flights to and from some destinations. If you or a parent in your setting are due to travel to an area affected by coronavirus, keep up to date with the latest information from your travel company or airline.

For travel advice and guidance for British people travelling and living overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), please read the information here.

Educational trips

Domestic trips for children under 18 organised by education settings - The Department for Education is not currently advising against domestic trips (residential and non-residential) for children under 18 organised by education settings. However, education settings should refresh their risk assessments to take into account the latest health advice and ensure measures are in place and agreed with parents in case children or adult supervisors believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 and exhibit symptoms that require self-isolation.

The government has already advised against any overseas trips organised by educational settings.

Suspension of Ofsted inspections (in England)

Ofsted has confirmed that all Ofsted inspections for schools, social care, early years and further education providers will be put on hold following government annoucements. 

Suspension of Ofsted registration fees (in England)

Invoices for annual fees going out to childminders and other early years providers from 3 April are dated 30 September – this is NOT an error; they are giving you extra time to pay in light of the current difficult circumstances.

If you have recently received an invoice from Ofsted, this also applies. You won’t receive another invoice for your annual fee until 30 September. If you have an outstanding invoice, we will not be re-issuing invoices. If you are unable to pay your annual fee, they will not be requesting payments until 30 September and so no early years provider will be de-registered as a result of not paying. Providers can still pay their fee when it is due should they wish to.

Suspension of Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) and Estyn inspections (in Wales)

CIW have confirmed that routine inspections are suspended with Estyn confirming that inspections and other activities are also suspended until further notice.