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Covid-19 Pledge of Care and Support

 

WHG are committed to caring for our students and helping to manage their arrival/departure and ongoing care while studying in the UK. To do this effectively, working with schools and following government guidelines and advice from Public Health England (PHE) is essential.

We pledge to do our utmost to support you and to do this, we have put together this comprehensive guide of what to expect from your arrival in the UK. Guidelines are changing as we manage life through the pandemic so if there are any changes to this guide, we will notify you. 

Life in the UK

For those students returning to the UK, you will notice some differences to how we live, work and study but they should not be too similar to the changes you have been living with in your own country. Social distancing and good personal hygiene are two of the key factors in controlling the spread of Coronavirus.

The UK Government has released guidelines on how to manage this in a residential setting such as a boarding school and schools have put together their own ways of managing the safe return of students having already re-opened in June 2020 to a limited number of year groups and then fully in September 2020.

As of August 2021, COVID restrictions have been removed, so life will seem more normal compared to the past 18 months. People remain vigilant and will wear masks and tend to keep practicing some degree of social distancing.

Travel to and from the UK

On the 4th of October 2021, there were changes to arriving in the UK. Please note that there are differences if you are arriving in England, Scotland and Wales. The traffic-light system (Red, Amber, Green) has been replaced with one red list only. If you require quarantine, please consult with your Local Guardian about travel plans to the UK so that quarantine placements can be identified (either in a host family or at school) in good time before inbound flights are booked. You will need to identify your quarantine location on your Passenger Locator Form before travelling to the UK.

Arriving in ENGLAND

(Approved) Vaccinated travellers over 18 and travellers under 18 from non-Red List countries

Click here to see a list of Red List Countries. (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-list-of-countries-and-territories)

No pre-departure test
No Quarantine
Book a day 2 TestClick here Complete a Passenger Locator Form, within 48 hours of arriving, with day 2 test booking referenceClick here

For approved vaccination programmes recognised by the UK Government and what information needs to be on your vaccination certificate, please go to this link:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countries-with-approved-covid-19-vaccination-programmes-and-proof-of-vaccination

Unvaccinated travellers over 18 years old

Pre-departure test within 3 days of arriving
Quarantine (This can be arranged at a WHG host family or boarding school)
Book a day 2 & day 8 Test Click here Test and Release (optional to reduce quarantine) Click here Complete a Passenger Locator Form (within 48 hours of arriving) with day 2 & day 8 test booking reference Click here

Arriving from or transiting through a Red List country (even if vaccinated)

Pre-departure test within 3 days of arriving
Quarantine (Only at an approved quarantine hotel or boarding school, if possible)
Book a day 2 & day 8 Test
Complete a Passenger Locator Form

If you are travelling from or through a Red List country, please contact WHG before booking your return as there are some exceptions.

More information on arriving in England can be found here:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

 

Arriving in Scotland

Under 18 and travelling from non-red list countries

No pre-departure test
No Quarantine
Aged 11-17 will need to take a PCR test within 2 days of arriving in Scotland

Children who have been in a red list country in the 10 days before arriving in Scotland must follow the normal rules for red list arrivals

Over 18, fully vaccinated and travelling from non-red list countries

No pre-departure test
No Quarantine
Book a day 2 Test Click here Complete a Passenger Locator Form (within 48 hours of arriving) with day 2 test booking reference Click here

Before you travel you’ll need to make sure you have a record of your vaccination. You'll need to show this when you travel. ‘Fully vaccinated’ means that it's at least 14 days since you've had your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Click here for more information 

Arriving from or have visited a Red List country in the last 10 days

Complete a passenger locator formClick here Take a COVID-19 test (children aged under 11 do not need to take this test)Click here Book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 PCR testsClick here

More information on arriving in Scotland can be found here:https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-quarantine/pages/overview/

 

Arriving in Wales

Complete a Passenger Locator Form Click here Pre-departure test unless fully vaccinated and not been in a Red List country in the past 10 days
Day 2 test (Everyone)
Day 8 test (Only non-vaccinated arrivals)

Arrivals from Red List must book a quarantine packageClick here

More information on arriving in Wales can be found here:https://gov.wales/rules-international-travel-and-wales-coronavirus

 

Testing

Departure Testing

WHG have successfully assisted many of students with COVID testing. Most of our students depart from Heathrow airport and the testing facility organised by Collinson at Terminal 2 & 5 has been efficient, low-cost and successful.

Please be mindful of the type of test that is needed by the government of the country you are travelling to. If a PCR test is needed, this can take a few days to process from the time the test is taken, so cannot be done at the airport on the day of departure like a Rapid LAMP test. However, there are rapid PCR tests available near Heathrow airport with a turnaround of roughly 4 hours. The choice of testing centre is also important. For example, travellers to Hong Kong must get a test from a laboratory that has an ISO15189 accreditation and the paperwork to support this.

There are a lot of private clinics offering ‘Fit to Fly’ certificates across the UK, but there are a noticeable number who may not have this accreditation or use a third party which might not be accepted and delay your travel plans.

 

Host Families

WHG is not able to offer host family accommodation if a student is in boarding and showed symptoms of Coronavirus.

For students who lived long-term with one of our host families, you must isolate with at your host family.

We have a duty to protect our students and our host families, so any family over the age of 70 or if anyone has underlying health conditions considered sensitive to Covid-19, they would be unable to host unless they wish to and have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Your Local Guardian

Your Local Guardian may not be able to visit you when you first arrive in the UK but rest assured, we will make contact with you when you arrive and when possible, we will visit you.

Social distancing might change the way we can visit students in schools but our support can remain the same. You can and will be able to rely on your Local Guardian to make arrangements for you such as airport transfers, buying sim cards or sports equipment. So please do let us know if you need assistance with anything before arriving or while you are here in the UK as most things can be arranged remotely.

 

Be Coronavirus Aware

We would like to share this link on Social Distancing in the UK and stopping the spread of Coronavirus. Although simple, these are the most effective ways to make sure that you and protecting yourself as well as others.

 

FAQ

When will my Local Guardian visit me?

It is unlikely schools will allow guardians to visit students in the first half of the term. Our guardianship includes a visit within the first few weeks of arriving followed by a report. The visit will have to be virtual by phone or messaging by email / WhatsApp and we will send a brief report to you once we have made contact.

What will WHG do is my child becomes unwell?

It is important first to find out their symptoms as not all illness is related and in need of the same reaction as Coronavirus.

If your child is displaying one or more of the symptoms linked to Coronavirus according to Public Health England,https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

  1. If your child is in boarding school, we will liaise with the school to support them and your child according to the school’s policy. This would likely mean if possible, a period of isolation until a test for Covid-19 was undertaken. 
  2. If your child is in a homestay, we will liaise with the host family and as above, the family would have to isolate until a test has been carried out. 

What happens if I have ben in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID?

From Monday the 16th of August, there is no requirement to self-isolate if someone in the same household has COVID-19 and any of the following apply (boarding school students who share facilities are viewed as a household):

  • you are fully vaccinated
  • you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection.

This applies to England.

How long does NHS testing take if I show symptoms?

A test must be taken within 5 days of showing symptoms so it is imperative we know as soon as you are feeling unwell. The UK Governments aim is to have a result from a test within 72 hours, but these tend to arrive sooner.

How long does private testing take?

It depends on the clinic and laboratory. Most test are advertised from 24-72 hours to deliver results but these may change depending on demand and unforeseen delays by third parties. 

What happens if my Local Guardian becomes unwell?

Each Local Guardian has a deputy so that if they fall unwell, a second person is ready to take over until they are able to return to work. 

What to do when in Quarantine?

In host families, quarantine must be strict and follow the government guidelines as there are fines in place if the rules are broken. Meals will be delivered to rooms and there will be regular sanitising. It will be arranged for students to spend time outside but on the grounds of the property.

Here is a link to the UK Government Guidance on how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK:-

UK Government Website - How to self-isolate when you travel to the UK

What happens if my Local Guardian becomes unwell?

Each Local Guardian has a deputy so that if they fall unwell, a second person is ready to take over until they are able to return to work. 

Can I wear a face mask?

Face masks are now optional but advised on public transport & in shops. In educational settings, you will be guided by your school on this.

How would WHG react to a rise in infection?

In March 2020 November 2020 and from December 2020 until March 2021, there has been national lockdowns but looking forward, it is less likely that there would further lockdowns as the vaccination programme has stemmed the comparable rise in infections and hospital admissions. WHG will adhere to advice from the UK Government and following this while keeping parents informed of updates. The vaccination programme is the UK is going well with over 72% (3rd August 2021) of the adult population having had two doses of the vaccine.

What happens if my school has a confirmed case of Coronavirus?

Each school will have measures in place to deal with this but will be guided by Public Health England. WHG will be there to support you and the school as much as possible while adhering to advice given by Public Health England. 

Are your host families kept up to date with advice?

Yes. Along with this document, we are sending advice to our host families on caring for our students under current conditions. These includes Public Health Advice on social distancing and how to stop the spread of infection:https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do

 

White House Guardianships

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