Teachers have been warned not to travel abroad at the end of the summer holidays because they face potentially losing pay if they are put into quarantine during term time.
Like many other key workers, school staff are unable to work from home and face taking unpaid leave if they get caught up in the newly-modified quarantine rules.
All school in England are due to return in September despite an ongoing battle between unions and the government over safety measures including whether pupils should wear masks.
The Department of Education says that schools should ‘avoid a member of staff having to quarantine during term time’ effectively barring teachers from taking a foreign holiday towards the ends of the summer holidays.
The government has warned that there is ‘no risk free travel’ and quarantine restrictions can be introduced with no notice on any country.
Boris Johnson this morning warned it was up to individuals to decide whether they wanted to take the risk of going abroad in the present circumstances amid fears of a second coronavirus wave sweeping Europe.
The announcement risks sparking another huge row between the Government and teachers’ unions.
They have been at war with Education Secretary Gavin Williamson since the spring over attempts to reopen schools before the summer.
Mr Williamson was forced to abandon plans to get all primary school children back in classes before the summer holidays after opposition and questions over whether it was possible with social distancing measures put in place that limited classes to 15 pupils.
The UK has removed Spain from its list of safe countries to travel to after fears were raised that the European country was experiencing a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Unhappy Brits have been returning from the popular tourist destination and will now have to enter in a 14-day quarantine.
Currently employers do not have to pay while you are in self-isolation and you are not eligible for statutory sick pay.
It has led to growing calls from the government to provide additional support to people who have been caught out by the sudden change in rules. People who are self-employed or can’t work from home will lose two weeks wages.
Headteachers are also quizzing teaching staff on their plans for the holiday break.
The Department of Education has warned there is a possible risk to overseas travel while teachers are enjoying their holiday break.
It added: ‘Where it is not possible to avoid staff having to quarantine during term time, school leaders should consider if it is possible to temporarily amend working arrangements to enable them to work from home.’
A joint letter from the Association of School and College Leaders, the NAHT union for head teachers and the Local Government Association, said anyone who found themselves in long-term quarantine may have to take annual leave or unpaid leave.
Joanne Jackson was one of many unhappy Britons returning from their holiday break yesterday to find work now disrupted.
The 49-year-old had just returned from a two-week break in Nerja and said she has now lost £2,000 in wages due to the quarantine.
The care worker from Manchester said: ‘It is a ridiculous decision and disgraceful one. Everyone abroad should have been given two weeks’ notice, not just a few hours.
‘Thanks to the Government, I have lost £2,000 in wages. Who is going to pay my wages? Who is going to pay my mortgage and bills? What will I do for money?
‘Where I have been staying, the infection rate is zero. The government should make people who are returning from high-risk areas quarantine, and not put a blanket-ban on the whole of Spain.
‘I am absolutely livid that I now have to quarantine. I’ll be back over in Spain soon. It won’t stop me flying.’