Covid testing to delay start of school term

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Department for Education chiefs are allowing schools to stagger starting dates for the new academic year to allow pupils to be tested twice for the virus. Close contacts of youngsters found to be infected with Covid will be traced and urged to take a PCR test to see whether they need to isolate.

A Department for Education spokesman said yesterday: “Schools may commence testing from three working days before the start of term and can stagger the return of pupils across the first week to manage this process.”

All secondary school and further education college pupils can expect to receive two lateral flow tests on their return.

The second test must be taken three to five days after the first.

After that, secondary school children will be encouraged to undertake twice-weekly tests at home.

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