Hello from sunny London,
With new, significant covid19-related developments occuring almost weekly, we want to keep you updated with another 'corona snapshot'.
Here are the most important things you need to know about covid19 in the UK right now and how it relates to a potential boarding school stay this September:
1. The situation in the UK is steadily improving.
The fatality and infection numbers are fortunately in steady decline now.
Fatality rate UK // 28.7.2020
Everyday life is also starting to get back to normal here. On Tuesday 23th June, Britain's Prime Minster announced a further relaxation of the lockdown conditions. The biggest change is that the two meter social distancing rule is being replaced with the more lenient one metre plus. This effectively means that many businesses can start to reopen as their capacity increases. Cinemas, hairdressers, holiday homes and restaurants will be re-opening on the 4th of July as we emerge from our ‘hibernation’ as Boris Johnson calls it.
Malvern College in its autumnal glory
2. Covid19 cases remain few where the boarding schools are.
Most British boarding schools are located in rural areas where there have been few reported cases of Covid19.
As everywhere else, most cases are recorded in urban areas, especially large cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham.
To ensure a safe transit, all schools are committing to providing transport from airports to the schools when pupils arrive in the UK for term start.
Royal Hospital School Dining Hall
3. Preparation for a safe school start in September continues apace.
All UK boarding schools we at von Bülow Education work with have signed up to the so-called Covid-SAFE Charter, a series of measures to ensure a safe start for pupils and staff in September.
We are keeping in daily contact with many boarding schools. We know that all schools are planning changes to ensure pupils are safe whilst maintaining the boarding school experience families expect.
Cheltenham College library
4. No exeat week-ends and half-term break leave optional in autumn term
All boarding schools that, under normal circumstances, have obligatory exeat week-ends, have scrapped these for the autumn term.
At the moment all schools are considering the possibility of keeping boarding houses open for the two-week half-term break in October.
Art department at Marymount International School
5. Schools will continue hosting virtual open days for the time being.
At this stage it is uncertain when the schools will allow for visits again, though it is likely to be sometime in the autumn.
We will of course keep you informed about any changes.
In the meantime, please sign up to the schools' virtual open days
For these you sign up, log on to a video-platform at a prearranged time and get shown around a school via live-camera. The tour is followed by a question-and-answer session with key staff. Whilst not comparable to a real school tour, you will get a good, first impression!
Please get in touch with us for virtual open day dates of schools you are interested in via firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Epsom School's arts department
6. The two-week quarantine is likely to be lifted at the beginning of July for several European countries.
On the 6th June the British government initiated a two-week quarantine for passengers arriving in the UK by plane, ferry or train.
We have it on good authority that this rule is likely to be relaxed in early July for countries including France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Turkey and Finland.
We sincerely hope that this snapshot overview is useful to you. Please never hesitate to get in touch with us for an update on any of the above. We are happy to help!
Ferdinand Steinbeis and the von Bülow Education Team