Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings.

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Applies to England



This guidance is for parents and carers and covers changes to:

  • after-school clubs
  • holiday clubs
  • tuition
  • community activities
  • other out-of-school settings for children and young people aged 5 and over

Updates to this page

Published 1 July 2020
Last updated 24 February 2022 + show all updates
  1. We’ve updated the guidance to reflect new public health guidance tracing close contacts, isolation and when someone has symptoms or a positive test.

  2. Updated to reflect the end of the asymptomatic testing programme. Reference made to UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) guidance on contact tracing and isolation which comes into effect from Thursday 24 February 2022.

  3. Updated to reflect the removal of Plan B requirements for working from home, face coverings in classrooms, face coverings in communal areas and mandatory NHS COVID Pass certification requirements for events.

  4. Updated guidance in line with the UKHSA announcement about confirmatory PCR tests and clarifying that children can return to school after day 7 if they've had 2 negative LFD tests.

  5. Updated the face coverings section to include the use of face coverings in classrooms and indoor activity rooms for adults and children aged 11 and above.

  6. Updated to reflect that daily rapid testing is now recommended for contacts of COVID-19.

  7. Following the Prime Ministers announcement on 8 December 2021, we have updated guidance on asymptomatic testing, tracing and self-isolation, face coverings, children with health concerns and mandatory certification.

  8. Converted to HTML to improve accessibility.

  9. Updated information about isolation, vaccinations for under 18 year olds, face coverings and international education visits.

  10. Updated information about vaccinations for 12 to 17 year olds, asymptomatic testing, under-18s that were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) and the end of the shielding programme.

  11. Added section on 'tracing and self-isolation' to explain that children under 18 do not need to self-isolate if they're identified by NHS Track and Trace as a contact.

  12. We have converted the guidance to HTML and updated the advice on CEV people to reflect that step 4 has taken place.

  13. We have clarified that "From 19 July, the Government is removing the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don't normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.

  14. We have added Out-of-school settings: COVID-19 guidance for parents and carers which applies from Step 4. This guidance outlines the removal of restrictions in these settings, such as keeping children in consistent groups (bubbles), wearing face coverings in classrooms and communal areas and in community settings, limits on parental attendance, and restrictions on group sizes for residential visits.

  15. Updated section on educational visits.

  16. We have converted the guidance to HTML to make it easier to read. We have not changed any of the guidance from the update on 10 May.

  17. Updated to provide additional guidance on residential visits, which can commence from Step 3. Updated the guidance on use of face coverings, indoor group sizes and parental attendance at out-of-school settings.

  18. We have updated advice on the use of face coverings in schools and out-of-school settings and added new guidance on test and trace support payments. We have also removed information on who can attend out-of-school settings prior to 29 March and updated information to reflect the commencement of step 2 of the COVID-19 response – spring 2021.

  19. Changes made to the sections 'Bubbles and group sizes' and 'Children with health concerns'.

  20. Removed old guidance for before 8 March. Added a new section about asymptomatic testing.

  21. Updated the guidance to outline who can attend out-of-school settings and what precautions parents who are sending their children to these settings should take from 8 March. Added a new section on face coverings.

  22. Updated the section on choosing after-school clubs and out-of-school activities to make it clear that parents should try to limit the number of settings their children attend as far as possible.

  23. Updated 'Who should attend after-school clubs and out-of-school settings', 'Children with health concerns' and 'Live performances' sections to reflect national lockdown guidance.

  24. Updated to reflect changes to the contingency framework and the January 2021 return to school guidance.

  25. Updated to reflect new local restriction tier 4 (stay at home) requirements and attendance at out-of-school settings during the first week of term in January 2021.

  26. Updated sections on ‘Children with health concerns’ and ‘Live performances of children’s dance, music and drama’. Added section on ‘Parent and child groups’.

  27. Added links to new national restrictions guidance.

  28. Updated with information about local COVID alert levels.

  29. Updated to remove out of date summer references.

  30. Coronavirus (COVID 19) update for autumn term including new section on live performances.

  31. Updated content to make clear that children will be able to attend all types of dance classes. Also, that clubs and activities for children will only be able to operate in those premises legally able to open.

  32. First published.

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