Christmas and nativity plays are one of our most cherished school traditions. Sadly last year many had to be cancelled but this year, as we are at a different stage of the pandemic and so many people are benefitting from the protections the vaccines offer, we hope many more will be able to go ahead.
Can nativities and school plays go ahead this year?
Nativities, plays, concerts and other festive events can go ahead but it is a matter for schools and early years to decide if they want to host them.
Our guidance has not changed and says schools, nurseries and other settings can continue to hold events where visitors such as parents are on-site.
If a play or concert is being held on-site, schools should take steps to improve fresh air flow in the areas where gatherings are taking place.
Air flows can be improved by ventilation systems or naturally by opening doors and windows, although schools should obviously make sure they maintain a comfortable temperature and don't compromise fire safety.
We are also providing CO2 monitors to all state-funded schools so staff can quickly identify where ventilation needs to be improved.
What precautions can parents take if they are attending a play or event?
You should take a rapid lateral flow test if you're going to be coming into contact people you don't normally meet. You can order tests online or visit a pharmacy. If your test is positive you should isolate immediately and get a PCR test.
You should also wear a face covering in crowded or enclosed areas.
What if there are lots of cases in the school community?
If schools or early years settings have particularly high levels of COVID-19, local Directors of Public Health may suggest that they don't hold gatherings, to reduce transmission.