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Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): social distancing in education and childcare settings

Advice for schools and childcare settings who are providing care to children during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): social distancing in education and childcare settings


It was announced on 23 March 2020 that the UK would enter a stricter period of social distancing, with people only allowed to leave home for very limited purposes.

The UK-wide measures are intended to delay the spread of the virus – if the majority of the country are strictly self-isolating, this allows for some people to gather where that is necessary, whether it be in hospitals, food production facilities, or in schools or childcare settings.

Recommendations for the educational setting

From 20 March 2020, schools, colleges, early learning and childcare settings, childminders and other registered childcare settings in Scotland closed for all but the most vulnerable children and for children of key workers.

The aim of this is to reduce spread of COVID-19. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

Where a child does attend a school or other childcare setting then this should be for the minimum amount of time required.

It is important to ensure that there is adequate provision for these children, if not then there is a potential risk to the child (if vulnerable) or potentially to other family members if elderly grandparents are asked to care for the children.

Further information can be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19): school closure guidance for key workers.