All pupils in all schools have been in school since September 2021. Following Executive agreement it was announced on 12 August 2021 that schools are no longer required to use formal bubbles. Following the Executive meeting on 30 December 2021 it was agreed to cut the Covid-19 self-isolation period for positive cases from 10 days to seven, in specific circumstances, from 31 December 2021. The Public Health Agency revised its guidance regarding testing and self-isolation requirements. Further details can be accessed via the attached link https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-self-isolating-and-close-contacts#toc-0
This Notice differs from Notice No. 37, which expired on 22 December 2021, to reflect the agreement of the Executive Committee on 30 December 2021 to cut the Covid-19 self-isolation period for positive cases from 10 days to 7 in specific circumstances and the revised Public Health Agency guidance on testing and self-isolation in response to the Omicron variant. It captures all pupils who test positive for Coronavirus, regardless of whether they can end their self-isolation from day seven, and all pupils who have been advised that they should not attend school on the basis of having been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case and they cannot take a test in accordance with the Public Health Agency guidance. In addition it includes pupils who are required by their school to learn remotely for a period of 7 days or more as a result of circumstances outlined in the Department’s Circular 2021/25. This Notice continues to apply to specified pupils in all grant-aided schools..
The Notice applies to those children who are -
(a) diagnosed with a medical condition or illness (or in extreme circumstances their parent has a significant underlying medical condition) and who –
(i) despite their absence from school, are registered by the school as being in attendance on the basis of medical advice that owing to their medical condition or illness (or in extreme circumstances their parent’s significant underlying medical condition), it is medically unsafe to be in attendance at school; and
(ii) can demonstrate evidence that they are being educated, or otherwise engaging in learning, whilst not in attendance at school;
(b) self-isolating as a consequence of their own positive test for coronavirus disease for a minimum of 7 days;
(c) pupils who have been advised that they have been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case who cannot take a test and who are required to self-isolate for 10 days;
(d) required by the school, in accordance with DE Circular 2021/25, not to attend school for a period of 7 days or more, and who are engaging in remote learning.
Under paragraph 17 of Schedule 17 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 the Department is required to publish the notice and to take steps as the Department considers reasonable to bring the notice to the attention of those likely to be affected by it.