Transport to schools and colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic

What those responsible for transport to schools and colleges will need to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Applies to England



This guidance applies to those responsible for transport to schools and colleges in England, including:

  • local authorities
  • schools
  • colleges
  • transport operators

It provides guidance on putting in place proportionate measures to reduce risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published 11 August 2020
Last updated 31 January 2022 + show all updates
  1. Guidance updated following the removal of plan B restrictions.

  2. Updated guidance in line with the UKHSA announcement about confirmatory PCR tests.

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

  4. Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 8 December 2021, we have updated the overview section with information on daily contact testing for contacts that are fully vaccinated or are under the age of 18 years and 6 months.

  5. Updated advice on face coverings and travel to reflect new measures announced on 27 November 2021.

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

  7. Updated with further information about contact tracing and isolation.

  8. Guidance updated to remove pre-Step 4 wording, also republished in HTML.

  9. 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.

  10. We have updated this guidance to provide a link to the Step 3 guidance and clarify who the guidance is aimed at.

  11. This is updated guidance on the provision of dedicated transport to schools and colleges at Step 4 of the Roadmap out of lockdown. It removes the recommendations that distancing should be maximised and mixing should be minimised and that children and young people aged 11 and over should wear face coverings. It provides advice on continuing to take proportionate measures to reduce the spread of infection.

  12. Updated to reflect the schools guidance on testing and face coverings for Step 3 of the roadmap from 17 May.

  13. We have updated the advice on the use of face coverings and asymptomatic testing to ensure it is consistent with the advice to schools and further education colleges.

  14. We have updated our guidance to reflect the DHSC announcement that a confirmatory PCR test is required following a positive LFD test result in England.

  15. Added additional information about how close contacts may be identified on transport and about the availability of twice weekly testing for drivers and passenger assistants on home to school transport.

  16. Minor amendments to the definition of a close contact and added information about reasonable adjustments to face coverings.

  17. Updated part A to make it consistent with guidance from Department for Transport. Consistency changes have also been applied to part B and the system of control.

  18. Removal of references to the autumn term, refreshed lines on the data and funding available to local authorities, updated links to the guidance to schools, specialist settings and colleges, updated advice of face coverings and the definition of a close contact to be consistent with revised advice from PHE.

  19. Updated guidance about the use of face coverings and about the workforce from 2 December. We have also renamed the guidance to reflect that it remains in use during the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

  20. Added a link to the new national restrictions from 5 November guidance.

  21. Added link to PHE guidance in ‘Prevention’, clarifying guidance on when to self-isolate.

  22. First published.