As health experts issued a warning over a new “ultra-transmissible” Covid strain spreading through the UK, this is the latest guidance being issued in schools in England.

The new ‘Kraken’ Covid variant has spread across the US and is now in the UK experts have warned.

Professor Lawrence Young from Warwick University told the Mail Online that the new variant should be a “wake-up call” to the UK.

He said: “The XBB.1.5 variant is highly infectious and is driving increased hospital admissions in New York, particularly among the elderly. Waning immunity, more indoor mixing because of the cold weather and lack of other mitigations, such as wearing facemasks, are also contributing to this surge of infection in the US.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

“This is a wake-up call - a sharp reminder that we can't be complacent about Covid. The threat of XBB.1.5 and other Covid variants further exacerbates the current NHS crisis and stresses the need for us to remain vigilant.”

But what is the latest guidance in schools in England?

Covid guidance for schools in England

The latest advice in England, published in December, says: “COVID-19 presents a low risk to children and young people. This, combined with high vaccination rates in the population, means there are no longer specific rules relating to COVID-19 in schools, colleges, childcare and other education settings.

“For children and young people aged 18 and under who test positive for COVID-19, the advice is to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for three days. This is because children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults.

“Adults with a positive COVID-19 test result are advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious.”

Covid ‘Kraken’ symptoms

These are the symptoms most commonly being reported at the moment according to a ZOE Health Study.

  • Sore throat
  • Blocked nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough no phlegm
  • Headache
  • Cough with phlegm
  • Hoarse voice
  • Muscle pains aches
  • Altered smell

Professor Lawrence added: “We need to continue to monitor levels of infection with different variants in the UK, encourage those who are eligible to get their boosters shots - why not extend this to the under 50s - and promote the value of other mitigation measures.”