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Contact tracing in schools, colleges and nurseries

​Protecting yourself and others from coronavirus

Everyone is strongly encouraged to follow Public Health measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Updated isolation guidance


From 7pm on Sunday 4 July:

  • there is no isolation requirement for anyone identified as a direct contact, as long as they are participating in the testing programme and do not have COVID-19 symptoms
  • direct contacts who choose not to be tested, are required to isolate for 14 days
  • all passengers who are identified as a direct contact when travelling to Jersey will not have to isolate, but will still need to follow the testing regime for arrivals
  • if you develop any one of the COVID-19 symptoms, you must isolate immediately and call the helpline to arrange a test
  • if you receive a positive result for COVID-19, you must isolate immediately for 14 days
Full guidance will be updated across in due course.

Notification of a positive case in an education setting

The school, college or nursery will tell you directly if someone in an education setting tests positive for COVID-19. For under 18's, parents/guardians will be notified.

In most cases, students will be sent home if they're a direct contact of a positive case of COVID-19 in an education setting. Where possible this will be arranged to coincide with the end of the school, college or nursery day for that child. Different approaches may be taken if multiple positive cases are identified. Initial notification of this will be made by the school, college or nursery.

Contact tracing process

The contact tracing process follows these steps:

  1. positive case identified as a pupil or school staff
  2. Contact Tracing Team notify Head teacher
  3. school provides details of direct contacts within the setting to Contact Tracing Team
  4. school notifies parents/guardians of children who are direct contacts via email
  5. parents/guardians of direct contacts receive a text message for test appointment
  6. parents/guardians of direct contacts receive a phone call from Contact Tracing
  7. school notifies all other parents and guardians of children who are not direct contacts that a positive case has been identified within the school

Tests will be automatically booked for the individuals identified. The number of tests booked will depend on the date of interaction. 

Direct and indirect contacts

A direct contact, in most instances, will be those who have spent more than 15 minutes (inside or outside) within 2 metres or less, or had direct physical contact without personal protective equipment, with an individual who is currently an active positive person. This will generally include those people in the child's friendship group, classes and activities.

An indirect contact is anyone who was outside this distance and duration, did not have physical contact or wore suitable personal protective equipment. Indirect contacts may be invited for testing.


The test

The test is a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab. It will involve a swab being taken from the back of the throat and nose and this will be sent for virology testing. The test takes 5 minutes to complete. On average results should be available within 12 hours. However, they can take up to 48 hours.

You cannot swab yourself.

You will need to isolate if you or your child are either:

  • identified as a direct contact
  • are symptomatic
  • waiting for a test result

Test results

On average results should be sent to you within 12 hours.

This is a voluntary programme. It's your and your child's decision to take part in the testing programme.

If you do not wish to be tested, you will need to isolate in line with current guidelines.

Results will not be shared with your employer unless required under the Jersey Law - Covid-19 (Screening, Assessment and Isolation) (Jersey) Regulations 2020, at which point all results will be anonymised.

Positive test result

If a child tests positive the contact tracing team will speak to their responsible adult, usually a parent/guardian.

If an adult test positive they will receive an SMS text message or email and a member of the Contact Tracing team will be in touch to advise that they have tested positive.

They will explain what this means, will provide further instruction, and they will also ask for details of anyone you have been in contact with.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate along with members of their household. Following a positive test, the contact tracing process will be followed.

You can claim isolation benefit if you need to self-isolate and can't work in relation to the latest Government advice on coronavirus.

You will need to contact your employer and inform them that you are required to isolate.

Isolation guidance

Negative test result

If the test result is negative, an SMS text message and/or email will be sent to confirm this. You will not be provided with a certificate confirming your negative result. 

A direct contact is not able to leave self-isolation, other than to attend their PCR appointment time until the result of their day 10 test.

Isolation for children

If your child is isolating because they have symptoms, or have tested positive for coronavirus, all members of the household should be isolating. 

However, if your child has been told to isolate because they have symptoms and are awaiting a test result, due to being a direct contact or because they have recently travelled back to the Island and no one else in the household is required to isolate with them, then you need to consider how you will manage their isolation period. The action you need to take will depend upon how old the child is and whether they are able to look after themselves.

If your child is old enough and able to isolate on their own 

  • if your child is old enough and able to isolate on their own, they are not required to be confined to a single room within the house
  • children and young people identified as a direct contact are allowed to use outside spaces, with supervision, for periods of a maximum of two hours for fresh air / exercise eg garden or open spaces such as a beach, park or a walk on a quiet lane, provided they adhere to physical distancing and other universal public health guidance

In such cases, only the child will need to isolate and members of the household who are not required to self-isolate are permitted to leave the house so long as they continue to follow the latest advice regarding the island-wide public health guidance.

You can take steps to reduce the risk of other people in your household catching coronavirus these include:

  • wash hands regularly for 20 seconds each time, using soap and water
  • regularly and properly clean all touch points and surfaces in your home (this includes door handles, light switches, tables and counters, remote controls, kettle and fridge handles, all bathroom areas)
  • check the label on cleaning products to make sure you're using them correctly (some require you to leave the spray for 20 minutes to be effective)
  • Make sure you're cleaning with a product that can kill coronavirus look at the product details the virucide EN number should be 14476
  • wait 20 minutes before entering a room someone else has been in for example a bathroom. This allows the airborne particles to settle and the room can then be cleaned. ensure shared spaces are well ventilated, open windows to allow fresh air in
  • spend as much time as possible in separate rooms and try to reduce moving between different rooms
  • where possible maintain a 2 meter distance from others
  • wear a clean face-covering / masks whenever possible
  • maximising the amount of fresh air and ventilation in your home

If you are isolating in a household with other people who have tested positive or who are isolating as direct contacts, you should wear masks within rooms or areas that may be used by others to reduce the risk of transmission, for example in hallways, kitchens or bathrooms.

If you live in accommodation that has communal areas for example hallways, stairs and lifts you should wear a mask when walking through and wash your hands after touching surfaces for example hand rails or buttons in a lift. 

If your child is not old enough or is not able to isolate on their own

If you do not believe your child is old enough or is not able to isolate separately within the house, then one adult should isolate with them and both adult and child should follow the advice for isolation of children and young people, as above. In particular this should include wearing a face-covering and glasses or sunglasses if you need to be closer than 2 metres and practicing the other infection control measures outline above. 

Leaving the home

Whilst isolating your child is allowed to leave the home under adult supervision for periods of fresh air or exercise to enhance their wellbeing. This is for a maximum of two hours a day and should be in wide open spaces such as a beach or public park if you do not have access to an outside garden at home. This also applies to the parent if they have made the decision to isolate together with the child. 

They must not:

  • leave the property except in an emergency or to receive essential medical care (or for exercise as outlined above)
  • go to work or school
  • leave to buy food or other essentials
  • visit any public enclosed areas - this includes indoor activities, pubs and restaurants
  • use public transport or taxis (unless to attend the testing centre and no private transport is available)

If the child or parent is not able to meet all the requirements of isolation while remaining in the household then all members of the household must isolate.

Parents should speak to their school as to the timing of their child's return as this may be impacted by staffing levels resulting from COVID cases.

Isolation guidance

Isolation for parents

If a parent has been identified as a direct contact, are symptomatic and awaiting a test result, or have recently returned from travel off Island, you will be required to isolate unless you are fully vaccinated. You will need to follow the isolation guidance and be able to carry out your isolation period completely separately from the other members of the household, including your children.

If this is not possible, then temporary arrangements should be considered. This may mean you or your child moving into separate accommodation for the duration of your isolation period.

If this is also not possible, then your child and other household members will need to isolate with you, following the latest isolation guidance, as outlined above. This means they must also not leave the property or attend school, for the duration of the isolation period.

Isolation guidance

Return to school, college or nursery

Self-isolation for children and young people aged under 18 

From 00.01 on 30 June 2021 children and young people, aged 18 and under, who have been identified by the Contact Tracing Team as direct contacts should follow the following self-isolation requirements.    

Nursery / primary school children identified as a direct contact   

  • isolation requirement: until they receive their first negative test result  
  • testing regime: Day 0 (release from isolation if negative) Day 5 and Day 10  

Secondary school children identified as a direct contact    

  • isolation requirement: until they receive their Day 5 negative test result  
  • testing regime: Day 0, 5 (release from isolation if negative) and Day 10    

Additional points    

  • immediate isolation is required eg as soon as the Contact Tracing Team confirm that an individual is a direct contact 
  • if any symptoms develop please call the helpline on 0800 735 5566 for advice   
  • any children / young people who are not willing or able to undergo PCR testing default to 14 days isolation  
  • any  young people who meet the criteria for fully vaccinated follow the policy for fully vaccinated direct contacts 
  • a child in isolation can return to school once they have had a negative Day 0 negative test result (in the case of nursery / primary) or a Day 5 negative test result (in the case of secondary) 
  • anybody within the household including siblings who have not been identified as a direct contact are not required to self-isolate   

Modification to the isolation guidance    

The isolation guidance for children and young people, under the age of 18 identified as direct contacts, has been modified, as follows:   

  • isolate at home and do not attend nursery, school or college 
  • children and young people identified as a direct contact are not required to be confined to a single room within the house   
  • children and young people identified as a direct contact are allowed to use outside spaces, with supervision for periods of a maximum of 2 hours, for fresh air / exercise eg garden or open spaces such as a beach, park or a  walk on a quiet lane, provided they adhere to physical distancing and other universal public health guidance

Once the direct contact has received their final negative PCR test result and completed the isolation period, they will be able to end isolation and return to school, college or nursery.

The school, college or nursery will provide parents/guardians with details of when students are able to return following the required isolation period.

If you are unsure if your child should return you should contact the school, college or nursery directly.

Prior to the return of students, the education setting will make sure cleaning is carried out in line with the relevant guidance. This may affect when the student can return to school, college or nursery.

Questions, concerns or complaints

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about any aspect of your treatment, contact the coronavirus helpline 0800 735 5566.

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