Dear Members,

Members must be aware that as of this morning (Friday, March 19), there have been changes to the “red-list” countries for entry into England. Pupils returning to boarding from Portugal and Mauritius no longer have to be quarantined under the “red-list” guidance, but Ethiopia, Oman, Qatar and Somalia have been added. The full list of red list countries is available here and the guidance for quarantining pupils from those countries is here.

Schools have highlighted issues in following the guidance, and BSA would urge all schools to read the letter they received from the Secretary of State very carefully and follow the instructions contained within it (please note that each school must have their own letter from Secretary of State to give to the children). Two particular issues are as follows:

  • When completing the passenger locator form, those travelling to boarding schools must answer ‘NO’ to the question: ‘Have you visited a Red List country within the last 10 days and/or are required by law to quarantine in a government approved facility?’ 
  • When booking test packages these can NOT be booked via CTM (who will require a hotel booking) but can be booked with any of the providers on the Government approved list.

Furthermore, as mentioned previously, the DfE is not able to make any exceptions for students who were already 18 before September 1, 2020, who are NOT allowed to quarantine in boarding if they are from red-list countries.

Any school which cannot find the letter email sent by the Secretary of State should search their servers for for it under, approximately March 5, 2021 and if unsuccessful should contact Dale Wilkins, BSA Director of Safeguarding, Professional Development and Accreditation, at

BSA envisages that there will be further clarifications soon from Scotland and Wales as to their own red-list policies. 

For additional COVID updates, please scroll down to the next section.

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