When you should keep your child home from school or childcare

This advice is for babies and children up to the end of secondary school.

Children and babies can get COVID-19. But most children who get COVID-19 have very mild symptoms or no symptoms.

When to get urgent medical help

If your child becomes unwell quickly, the cause is unlikely to be COVID-19. Their symptoms may be caused by another illness.

If you are in doubt about any symptoms your child has, phone your GP.

Read about symptoms in babies and children that need urgent medical help

Immediate action required: Phone 999 or 112 if:

  • your baby is under 3 months old and has a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or more)

Urgent advice: Phone your GP immediately if:

  • your baby is aged 3 to 6 months and has a high temperature

When to keep your child at home

Keep your child at home if they:

If your child is fully vaccinated and does not have symptoms, you do not need to keep them at home.

What we mean by fully vaccinated against COVID-19

You are fully vaccinated:

  • 7 days after your second Pfizer/BioNTech dose - also known as ‘Comirnaty’
  • 15 days after your second AstraZeneca dose - this vaccine may be called ‘Vaxzevria’ or ‘Covishield’
  • 14 days after your second Moderna dose - also known as ‘Spikevax’
  • 14 days after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine ‘Janssen’ - this is a single dose vaccine

What to do if your child has symptoms

Follow the advice for children with symptoms if your child has:

  • common symptoms of COVID-19
  • other symptoms, such as sore throat, headaches or vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • an existing breathing condition that has recently become worse

Do this even if your child is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

What to do if your child does not have symptoms

Follow the advice for close contacts if your child:

If your child is fully vaccinated and does not have symptoms, you do not need to keep them at home.

What we mean by fully vaccinated against COVID-19

You are fully vaccinated:

  • 7 days after your second Pfizer/BioNTech dose - also known as ‘Comirnaty’
  • 15 days after your second AstraZeneca dose - this vaccine may be called ‘Vaxzevria’ or ‘Covishield’
  • 14 days after your second Moderna dose - also known as ‘Spikevax’
  • 14 days after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine ‘Janssen’ - this is a single dose vaccine

Last updated: 26 September 2021 at 10.55pm

Talk to a breastfeeding expert