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Living with COVID-19

Living with COVID-19 – From April 2022


UKHSA has now published new guidance for the general population on reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace. This came into effect on Friday 1 April, and is relevant to education and childcare settings.


Symptoms of COVID-19


The list of symptoms of COVID-19 has been updated. However, it is not possible to tell if you have COVID-19, flu or another respiratory infection based on symptoms alone.

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, you are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.


Symptoms of COVID-19, flu and common respiratory infections include:


  • continuous cough
  • high temperature, fever or chills
  • loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
  • shortness of breath
  • unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
  • muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
  • not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
  • headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual
  • sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
  • diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick


When children and young people with symptoms should stay at home and when they can return to education:


Children with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their education setting.


Children who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can return to school, college or childcare, and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend. We therefore ask that you continue to avoid using Calpol to bring down a temperature as this could be masking the symptoms of COVID-19


Reporting an absence from school:


When reporting an absence, please continue to give details of your child’s illness, rather than just saying they are ‘unwell’.

If your child has a high temperature, they should remain away from school until their temperature returns to normal.


A child who has COVID-19 should remain away from school for at least 3 days, and cannot return to school if their temperature remains high.


What to do if you have a positive COVID-19 test result:


Stay at home and avoid contact with other people.


If you have a positive COVID-19 test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19 even if you do not have any symptoms. You can pass on the infection to others, even if you have no symptoms.


Many people with COVID-19 will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days. If you have a positive COVID-19 test result, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after the day you took your test. There is different advice for children and young people aged 18 and under.


Children and young people aged 18 years and under who have a positive test result


It is not recommended that children and young people are tested for COVID-19 unless directed to by a health professional.


If a child or young person has a positive COVID-19 test result they should stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test. After 3 days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature, the risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower. This is because children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults.