Dear Colleagues,

The following updates have been released in the past few days. 

England

Unaccompanied minors arriving from a red list country to attend boarding school
This afternoon (27.9.21), the government has released ‘Unaccompanied minors arriving from a red list country to attend boarding school’ guidance. This guidance links to the ‘Quarantine arrangements for boarding school students from red list countries‘ which has not been updated but on advice from DfE, BSA expects updated arrangements on quarantine for boarders to be issued next week, until such time the existing arrangements remain in place. 

BSA is working with DfE and will send an immediate alert to members once the boarding arrangements are released. 

Schools COVID-19 operational guidance
The schools COVID-19 operational guidance in England has also been updated this morning with the below. Please click here to view the full guidance.

Changes to the previous version
Changes to the guidance since its 27 August 2021 publication include updates to:

Transport to schools and colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic
Also updated is the Transport to schools and colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic in England, please see the summary below. Please click here to view the full guidance.

This guidance has been updated to reflect the changes to the schools guidance on asymptomatic testing.

NMS for Boarding
The DfE has confirmed that they do not anticipate the revised standards being published until 2022. Appropriate time would then be allowed for schools and inspectorates to prepare for the changes coming into force.

Ireland

On Saturday (25.09.21), the Irish government announced an end to mandatory hotel quarantining for some travellers arriving into Ireland to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, see here for further information.

The updated guidance which covers boarding pupils and their families can be found here. The section relating to children states:

Travelling with children

All children under the age of 18 must be declared on a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form by an adult accompanying them.

Unaccompanied children aged 12 and over must complete their own COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form.

If you are travelling with a child that is between the ages of 12 and 17, they must have a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival unless they have valid proof of vaccination or recovery.

If only the adults accompanying the child are fully vaccinated, the child is required to have a negative RT-PCR test.

Children aged 11 and under do not need a RT-PCR test to travel to Ireland.

Children of any age, travelling with accompanying vaccinated or recovered adults do not need to self-quarantine post arrival. However, if one accompanying adult needs to self-quarantine, then all children must also self-quarantine.

Scotland

On Friday (24.09.21), the Scottish government announced:

Testing for inbound international travel is to be eased and will align with the UK following consideration of the logistical, health and economic implications, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson has said.

Pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated travellers will be removed. Travellers from non-red list countries who have been fully vaccinated in a country that meets recognised standards of certifications will no longer be required to provide evidence of a negative test result before they can travel to Scotland. 

For practical purposes, Scotland will also align with the UK post-arrival testing regime. Details for the UK are still being finalised and we will continue to engage with the UK Government ahead of confirmation as soon as possible.

Please click here to read the full details.

Best wishes

The BSA Team
bsa@boarding.org.uk