Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues minutes: 18 August 2020

Minutes of meeting of the COVID-19 Advisory Group held on Tuesday 18 August 2020.

Items and actions

1. The sub-group considered the benefits and risks of young people attending college and university, including as part of their senior phase curriculum.  The sub-group advised that all possible mitigation measures should be taken to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus and that approaches were needed to understand and monitor compliance.  It was agreed that relevant aspects of workplace guidance were appropriate to FE/HE settings.  Risk assessments should be carried out as appropriate by each institution.  Test and Protect, including a zero tolerance of symptoms remains a critical element of safe re-opening.

2. The sub-group revisited the current advice on face coverings.   It was noted that the existing advice was contingent on the continuing low prevalence of the virus.  However as the evidence continues to evolve and the low levels of prevalence may change, updated advice may be needed in respect of face coverings. The sub-group agreed that it was important that a balance of harms approach should be taken when considering any changes to the current advice on wearing of face coverings by staff and/or learners. 

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