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COVID-19 Safe Chapter


My Guardians uphold the AEGIS Covid-19 Safe Charter. 
This Charter serves to advise schools, overseas parents and agents on the response from AEGIS and our member guardianship organisations, like My Guardians, to the Covid-19 pandemic. Guardianship organisations that have adopted the AEGIS Covid-19 Safe Charter confirm that they will comply with government and Public Health guidance whilst supporting international students in the UK.

My Guardians is an AEGIS accredited guardianship organisation.

Choosing an AEGIS accredited guardian
AEGIS recommend that overseas parents familiarise themselves with the rigorous inspection process undertaken by AEGIS guardianship organisations and choose an AEGIS accredited guardian  AEGIS accredited guardianship organisations are professional, fully insured, trained in safeguarding and offer 24/7 emergency assistance.
AEGIS accredited guardianship organisations have been praised by schools, agents and parents for their hard work and swift action during the COVID-19 crisis  They have been proactive in assisting schools, students and parents.

My Guardians' commitment to supporting international students
We are committed to assisting schools and parents in the safe return of students and continued support of students.

Coordination of flights to the UK
Some travel arrangements will likely need to be planned at the last minute as flights become available  We support parents with travel arrangements and provide assistance on arrival 24/7. 
My Guardians will ensure that the student or parent completes the online Passenger Locator Form via the link below before arrival in the UK  The form cannot be submitted until 48 hours before arrival in the UK  The student will need to carry a copy of the completed form with them, and the document will be required on arrival at the UK border, either a printed version or a copy on a mobile phone.
https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk
My Guardians will ensure students also travel with the standard Permission to Travel Letter, as per Appendix 11 of the AEGIS Inspection Handbook & Quality Standards.

Travel & Testing
When travelling to the UK, what is required in terms of Covid-19 testing and quarantine depends on where that person has been in the 10 days before arrival.
PLEASE CHECK WITH THE AIRLINE DIRECTLY ABOUT TESTING REQUIREMENTS BEFORE TRAVEL TO ENSURE ALL NECESSARY TESTS ARE BOOKED IN ADVANCE.
For further details please visit: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control
For lists of Green, Amber and Red countries and territories, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england
Test to Release (available in England only): https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-test-to-release-for-international-travel
Rules for travelling to:
Wales: https://gov.wales/rules-foreign-travel-and-wales-coronavirus-covid-19-html
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-quarantine/pages/red-amber-and-green-list-countries/
Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-advice

Quarantine
My Guardians will follow government guidelines on self-isolation and ensure that parents and students understand the requirements.

Amber List Countries
Where pupils travel from abroad to attend a boarding school, schools need to explain the rules to pupils and their parents before they travel to the UK  All pupils travelling to England must follow the guidance set out in government travel advice.

Boarding school pupils who are ordinarily resident in the UK, including those who are unaccompanied and who are attending boarding schools on a child student visa or student visa, who have travelled from or through amber list countries (and have not been in a red country or France in the previous 10 clear days), are exempt from the requirements to quarantine and take a day 8 test.

Those aged 11 to 17 need proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to England (children aged 10 and under are exempt from this) and those aged 5 to 17 must take a COVID-19 travel test on or before day 2  More information is provided in the government's quarantine and testing guidance.
PLEASE CHECK WITH THE AIRLINE DIRECTLY ABOUT TESTING REQUIREMENTS BEFORE TRAVEL TO ENSURE ALL NECESSARY TESTS ARE BOOKED IN ADVANCE.
Additional guidance is provided on the quarantine arrangements for boarding school pupils travelling from red-list countries to attend a boarding school in England.
Full quarantine guidance is available here:
England:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-england
Scotland:  https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-quarantine/pages/red-amber-and-green-list-countries/
Wales:  https://www.gov.wales/how-isolate-when-you-travel-wales-coronavirus-covid-19
Northern Ireland:  https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-advice

Red List Countries
British and Irish Nationals or third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK are able to enter the UK if they have been in or transited through a 'red list' country in the last 10 days  Residence rights include those with an entry clearance/visa that grants such leave e.g. child/student visas, holders of existing leave to enter or remain e.g. those students with biometric residence permits, and holders of EU Settlement Scheme ("EUSS") leave.

Boarders from Red List countries are able to quarantine at boarding schools.

Guidance for boarders arriving from Red List countries allowing boarders to quarantine at school:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/966528/Boarding_school_students_from_red_list_countries_quarantine_arrangements.pdf

For Red List countries please see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

"If you're a child coming to school in the UK
Under the quarantine arrangements for boarding school students from red list countries, if you are a child under 18 coming to study at a UK boarding school you may isolate at the accommodation provided or arranged by your boarding school instead of going into managed quarantine.
If you are a child under 18 travelling from a red list country to study at a UK boarding school and:
  • you are not able to isolate at the accommodation provided or arranged by your school, or
  • you will be studying at a day school and staying with family or in a foster arrangement
We may consider issuing a visitor visa exceptionally to one of your parents/guardians so that they can accompany you to the UK and undergo managed quarantine together with you.
​We will not normally issue a visitor visa to your parent/guardian if your school can offer accommodation for you to complete your isolation.
We will only consider issuing visit visas to both your parents/guardians if there are compelling or compassionate circumstances.
f you are a parent/guardian of a child under 18 travelling from a red list country to study at a UK boarding school you'll need to apply for a visa in the usual way, including submitting biometrics at your chosen Visa Application Centre (VAC).
You should provide evidence to show why your child cannot isolate at school accommodation and alert the VAC staff of your reason for travel during biometric submission You'll be contacted by UKVI once your application has been received.

Exemptions to managed quarantine requirements
The Department of Health and Social Care has laid out a limited number of scenarios where an individual may apply for an exemption from the requirement to enter managed quarantine on arrival in the UK on medical and compassionate grounds."

​Full guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=bfb25e0b-18f0-4def-8a09-bb8dbac4a991&utm_content=immediately

The Test to Release scheme cannot be used by students travelling from red list countries.

Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/self-isolation/
Wales: https://gov.wales/how-self-isolate-when-you-travel-wales-coronavirus-covid-19
Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-advice


Note that students travelling from or through red list countries should never quarantine with students travelling from non-red list countries.
Please note that unaccompanied stays in hotels are not advised, we refer you to the UKVI Student Visa Sponsor Guidance:
The self-isolation requirements in place for Child Students must meet the safeguarding requirements as stipulated in Appendix Child Student to ensure suitable care arrangements are in place for a Child Student's care and reception within the UK  For Child Students who are 16 or 17 years old, they are able to live independently, so if the parent consents for the Child Student to be living independently within the UK for the self-isolation period (as per the consent requirements in CS. 9) before moving to the full accommodation this would be acceptable, provided the sponsor maintained their sponsorship duties in regard to the Child Student's care and reception within the UK.
For Child Students below 16 years old, it is not acceptable for a Child Student to be placed in a hotel for the self-isolation period, this is because the care requirements in place for a Child Student under 16 must always be in accordance with one of the types of care stated in the Child Student rules:
  • Boarding at a residential boarding school
  • Living in a Private Foster Care arrangement
  • Living with a close relative who holds settled status within the UK (ILTR)
  • Living with a Parent of a Child Student (if the Child Student is under 12)

Safe travel arrangements in the UK

We recommend that parents choose an AEGIS accredited guardianship organisation to organise airport transfers with drivers who are screened and experienced in transporting international students  They also adhere to social distancing and hygiene standards. 
The guardian is to ensure that:

  • There is a named, safe adult to meet the child and comply with any social distancing guidelines at that time and follow strict hygiene procedures  The named person will have a face covering and sanitiser hand wash  A spare should also be carried for the child being collected whilst at the airport or point of entry and whilst in the transport.
  • The transport to the school is a direct route without detours.
  • The transport has enough sanitiser, wipes and spare face coverings  Should there be any toilet stops relevant guidelines must be followed.
  • A welcome pack with snacks and drinks is made available within the transport  The packets etc will need sanitising in advance.
  • The student is encouraged to contact home shortly after arrival in the country and when arriving at school.
  • They keep in contact regularly with the child and reinforce that they are there to listen to the child's voice and any concerns that they have.

Students returning to their home countries

Several countries have banned or limited UK travels meaning some students will be unable to return to their home country  For individual country guidance please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Hong Kong Guidance is taken from the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, full guidance is available here:
https://www.hketolondon.gov.hk/info-uk.php 
https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202106/24/P2021062400893.htm
https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/

From 28 June 2021, the UK will be specified as Group A2 specified places (very high risk) where arrivals from the UK to Hong Kong would be subjected to tightened quarantine requirements of 21-day, and no shortened quarantine arrangement would be provided to those who have been fully vaccinated.
For persons who arrived at Hong Kong from the UK from 7 May 2021, they will be required to (a) undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days in a designated quarantine hotel; (b) self-monitor in the subsequent 7 days; and (c) do 4 tests during the 21-day compulsory quarantine and another test on the 26th day of arrival at Hong Kong.
The UK will be specified as Group A2 specified place (very high risk) from 28 June 2021 where the same boarding, quarantine of 21-day and testing requirements will be imposed on persons arriving at Hong Kong, regardless of whether they have been fully vaccinated or otherwise  Between 4 June and 27 June 2021, persons arriving at Hong Kong who have stayed in the UK (Group B specified place) but are yet to be fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines will be subject to a 21-day compulsory quarantine at designated quarantine hotels, with four tests to be conducted during the period  Those who have been fully vaccinated will be subject to a 14-day compulsory quarantine at designated quarantine hotels, with three tests to be conducted during the period, followed by a seven-day self-monitoring period as well as compulsory testing on the 16th and 19th day of arrival at Hong Kong  Fully vaccinated means that the suggested dosage has been administered in accordance with relevant guidelines of a COVID-19 vaccination course at least 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong  The relevant vaccines administered should be those included on the List of COVID-19 Vaccines Recognised for Specified Purposes.
Please kindly note that from 26 June 2021 onwards, the relevant test must be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based nucleic acid test  Results of tests conducted using other testing platforms (e.g. reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification, RT-LAMP) cannot be considered to have fulfilled the relevant specified boarding requirement.

PLEASE CHECK WITH THE AIRLINE WHICH PCR TEST IS ACCEPTABLE.
From 0.00 am on July 1 (Hong Kong time), all passenger flights from the UK will be prohibited from landing in Hong Kong  The UK will also at the same time be specified as an extremely high-risk Group A1 specified place to restrict persons who have stayed in that place for more than two hours from boarding passenger flights for Hong Kong, so as to stop persons from the relevant place from travelling to Hong Kong via transit  Full details can be found here:
https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202106/28/P2021062800825.htm?fontSize=1
https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk
Hong Kong Immigration Department's 24-hour hotline provides assistance to HK residents overseas: (852) 1868 
https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/Assistance_Outside_Hong_Kong.html
Hong Kong's Department of Health: +852 2125 1122  Their opening hours are 9 am to 8 pm (Hong Kong time) daily.

Japan – Japan is only accepting negative Covid-19 tests which indicate the test taken is a nasopharyngeal test.
See: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/japan/entry-requirements


If boarding students display COVID-19 symptoms whilst at school

My Guardians follow Public Health and government guidance:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
Host families and educational guardians are not in a position to take over the care of students who display symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 at boarding school  Public Health and government advice, and that of the Safe Schools UK and BSA Charter, is that boarding schools provide isolation for international boarders on school premises.
"From 16 August, you will not be required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 and any of the following apply:

  • you are fully vaccinated
  • ​you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

​Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine."

Please note that boarding school students who share facilities are viewed as a 'household' in this guidance.



In the event of school closure 
Where schools are unable to keep their boarding houses open, MY GUARDIANS will provide homestay accommodation for healthy students.
If there is a school closure and students at the affected school are displaying symptoms and/or awaiting test results for COVID-19, MY GUARDIANS are unable to accommodate these students in host families due to the risk to the host family and wider community  Any such student will need to remain within the school's isolation provision until they receive the all-clear or are admitted to a medical facility. If a student receives a negative test result, guardians will then accommodate them as stated above.
If a student develops symptoms after being placed in a homestay and the school is closed, MY GUARDIANS will instigate the proper testing and isolation procedures and accommodate the student until they are given the all-clear, or admitted to a medical facility.
If a student develops symptoms during a residential course the responsibility for the care of the student will remain with the course provider.
Guidance on self-isolation:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
How to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (ww.gov.uk)


Current Guidance for Schools
England: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak
Scotland:  https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-reducing-the-risks-in-schools/
Wales: https://gov.wales/operational-guidance-schools-and-settings
Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-schools-colleges-and-universities


Hosting of international students FAQs

Please note that Public Health England has advised carrying out an individual risk assessment and discussion with homestays regarding any hosting arrangements. Hosting arrangements would need to be compliant with any current local guidance for households which might vary depending on local incidence levels. International students are classed as part of the household bubble.

Q: Can guardians arrange homestay accommodation for healthy students during school holidays?
A: Unless the student was a confirmed case or contact of a confirmed case self-isolating or quarantining following travel from a country where this is required, there is no reason why they should not go to their homestay. If a member of the homestay is self-isolating as a Covid-positive case or contact then this hosting would not be advised.

Q: Should students continue testing during their stay?
A: It is recommended by Public Health that students continue to participate in a twice-weekly asymptomatic LFD testing outside of school, during stays with host families and in residential holiday settings.
Regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you do not have symptoms – NHS (www.nhs.uk)


Q: What happens if a student displays symptoms whilst at a homestay provided by an AEGIS accredited guardianship organisation?
A: Host families would continue to care for students who display symptoms whilst at their homes. They would follow medical advice and government guidelines on self-isolation:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
Host families would liaise closely with the guardianship organisation who would keep the school and overseas parents fully informed of the situation. 


Q: Mixing of households – how does this affect the hosting of international students?
A: International students are considered part of the family bubble that is hosting them.

Q: Can a healthy international boarding student stay with a homestay during a national lockdown?
A: International boarders are able to stay with allocated homestays just as British boarders are able to return home to stay with their families.

Q: If an area goes into local lockdown whilst a student is staying with a homestay family during a school holiday, would they be able to return to boarding school during the lockdown period? 
A: Yes, they would be able to return to school.

Q: Can guardians provide long term accommodation in homestays for students while schools are closed?
A: Yes, guardians are able to provide long-stay accommodation with host families.

Where a hosting arrangement for a student under the age of 16 lasts for 28 consecutive days or longer, AEGIS guardians are aware that this is classed as a private fostering arrangement and subject to local authority checks. AEGIS guardians understand that they have a duty to report the hosting arrangement to the local authority as soon as they become aware that the arrangement will meet the private fostering threshold. Further guidance on Private Fostering can be found here: Private Fostering

For further queries please contact:
DfE coronavirus helpline
Telephone: 0800 046 8687
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm





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