Guidance for parents & carers

What to do if you think your child has coronavirus

If you think your child has coronavirus (fever measuring 37.8C, a new persistent cough or a change or loss of sense of smell or taste) please book a test. We know there’s a high demand and you may have to wait. You can book a test by calling 119 or going online Please don’t attend A&E or your GP practice for a test – they aren’t able to provide them.

In these circumstances, your child should be advised to self-isolate (not attend school) for 10 days, or until a negative swab test result is received. Members of the household should self-isolate for 10 days.

If the test comes back negative, the child can return to school provided they have been fever free for 48 hours and feel well.

If the test comes back positive the child shouldn’t attend school and inform the school immediately of the test results. The child can return to school after 10 days, once the child feels better, and has been fever-free for at least 48 hours.

More information about coronavirus and school absence

Is it a cold, coronavirus or something else?

If your child has a runny nose or a sore throat, this is much more likely to be a common cold. In those cases, please do not get a test.

At this time of the year children will pick up lots of germs and bugs, often these are not serious. If the symptoms are not the same as coronavirus then you may find it better to visit  your local pharmacy, speaking to your GP or calling NHS 111 (or go online

As parents and carers you will know your children well. If you genuinely feel your child is seriously unwell or injured then please do call 999 or go straight to A&E.  To help ensure we can look after the most sickest people, please only use this option in an emergency.

Can my child go to school today?

Please download our handy guide if you’re not sure about sending your child to school

Can my child go to school today?

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Graphic showing what to do if child is ill
Can my child go to school today?