Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding advice and support

Details of shielding advice to help people make informed decisions and access support services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding advice and support
Children and young people

Children and young people

The pause to shielding applies to all children and young people who are still on the shielding list.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health guidance may suggest that a child no longer needs to shield. In these cases their GP or specialist care provider will discuss this with them. They will also discuss with their parent or carer if needed. If agreed that the child or young person no longer needs to shield, they will receive a letter to confirm this.

Going to school

All children and young people who have been shielding can go to school, unless their GP or specialist healthcare provider advises otherwise. Any children and young people who live with someone who has been shielding can also return to school.

Going back to school is important for education and wellbeing. There are many benefits to education and the risks are low. Evidence suggests that the risk for children and young people is much less than we thought to begin with.

The guidance is that distancing should be maintained in secondary schools where possible. This is alongside ventilation, good hygiene practices and improved cleaning regimes.

The Parent Club website has lots of information about your child’s safety when going to school. In general, children and young people have a much lower risk of severe illness from COVID-19. They also do not spread the virus as easily as adults. As with any time spent outside your own home, everyone should wash their hands as soon as they get back home.

Our reopening schools guidance sets out measures schools must take to minimise risk. Speak to your school if you have any worries about this.  


All children can return to formal childcare settings, unless their clinician advises otherwise. Formal childcare providers are following guidance to protect the children they look after.

Parent Club has guidance for formal childcare settings and for informal childcare arrangements.

Children aged 11 and under

Children aged 11 and under are exempt from some of the restrictions on meeting others.

This includes children who are on the shielding list. It also includes children who are living with someone else who is on the list.

Our advice is that you do not need to maintain physical distance from the people in your household. This includes children aged 11 and under, even if they have met with other children and adults.

Everyone should still wash their hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as they get home.

First published: 10 Sep 2020 Last updated: 22 Sep 2020 -