The free flu vaccination programme in Wales will probably be prolonged to residents over 50 and to households of shielded folks – topic to affirmation from the UK authorities that there will probably be sufficient vaccine to go spherical.
The Welsh authorities mentioned current eligible teams together with these aged over 65 years, pregnant girls and other people with medical circumstances must be vaccinated first. Increasing uptake in well being and social care employees can even be a key precedence this winter.
Health minister Vaughan Gething mentioned:
This winter greater than ever we have to defend probably the most susceptible in our group and proceed to guard our NHS.
By extending the flu vaccine to extra folks than ever earlier than we may also help stop folks changing into sick and scale back stress on the NHS this winter. I might urge anybody who’s eligible to have the vaccine.
Public transport is not going to have room for almost all of kids who depend on buses, trains and trams to get to high school in September, authorities scientific advisers have warned.
The area wanted for social distancing implies that public transport in England will shortly be overwhelmed at both finish of the college day, with the stress anticipated to be significantly extreme in London, they are saying.
The warning, which seems in a doc launched on Friday by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, Sage, highlights a problem many households might face underneath Boris Johnson’s plans for all youngsters to return to high school after the summer season holidays.
Experts on the Children’s Task and Finish Group, a subgroup of Sage, raised their issues after an evaluation of public transport capability by the Department for Transport (DfT). The doc states:
Internal DfT modelling suggests that there’s prone to solely be capability to accommodate a minority of kids who use public transport to get to high school in September, while sustaining social distancing.
The report means that separate transport for college kids, or staggered begin occasions, may scale back the danger of an infection on buses, trains and trams, however concedes this might require coordination with native employers. For those that reside close by, biking and “walking buses”, each of which have well being advantages, might be inspired, although these could also be much less common within the autumn and winter, it provides.
Travel surveys by the DfT present that about 5% of major faculty youngsters and practically a 3rd of secondary faculty youngsters take the bus to high school. While further buses may be laid on pretty simply, college students who use the practice may face higher issues, the specialists say.
The doc urges faculties to drop the time period “bubbles” when referring to youngsters who’re allowed to combine collectively, amid issues that it dangers confusion with family bubbles. Instead, it says pupils must be “segmented” into smaller teams to scale back the danger of transmission, restrict outbreak sizes, and make it simpler to establish linked instances.
Grammar faculties in England have been requested to delay this yr’s 11-plus entry exams due to the affect of the coronavirus lockdown, the Department for Education mentioned in new guidance that might create complications for fogeys.
The examination for selective faculty entry is normally taken by yr 6 pupils in September, to permit the outcomes to be processed and households knowledgeable earlier than state secondary faculty functions shut on the finish of October.
But the DfE mentioned it now “strongly advised” authorities to delay 11+ exams till late October or November – which means households must select faculties with out realizing if their youngsters have certified for a grammar place.
The DfE steering states:
No little one is prone to carry out to their utmost potential in a take a look at originally of September and all are prone to profit from as a lot time again in schooling as attainable earlier than being assessed. The attainment hole between deprived youngsters and their friends is prone to be magnified by their absence from faculty in the course of the coronavirus outbreak.
To compensate for any confusion, the DfE mentioned native authorities ought to enable households to call a further faculty choice.
Where grammar faculty evaluation outcomes is not going to be offered till after 31 October, we advocate that native authorities advise dad and mom to make use of their last choice for a neighborhood non-selective faculty.
Schools can even must make particular preparations for some youngsters, together with these dwelling in households the place somebody is clinically susceptible, to take the examination in their very own properties or one other protected venue.
The DfE mentioned:
In the pursuits of equity, we additionally immediate admission authorities to establish any affect of the choice course of which could show a barrier to youngsters from decrease earnings backgrounds in mild of the general public well being scenario and take motion to mitigate such impacts wherever attainable.
Kent county council, one of many native authorities that retains a selective faculty system, has mentioned it’s going to delay its 11+ exams till mid-October. But Lincolnshire mentioned it’s going to solely delay its exams by every week in September.
From 28 July, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and St Vincent and the Grenadines will probably be added to the journey corridors checklist, and passengers arriving from these nations is not going to be required to self-isolate when arriving in England.
The full checklist and extra data is right here.