Wales: Secondary school pupils face daily Covid-19 testing if case at home

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Education Minister Jeremy Miles said he was determined to 'minimise disruption to education and childcare'.

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Secondary school and college pupils in Wales will be advised to take daily lateral flow tests for seven days if someone in their household tests positive for coronavirus, the Welsh Government has announced.

Education Minister Jeremy Miles said he was determined to “minimise disruption to education and childcare”.

He said the changes would apply from next Monday and would provide “further reassurance” to students they were not infectious.

Children who are living in a household with someone who has a confirmed positive Covid-19 case will be urged to take a daily lateral flow test. This is in addition to PCR tests on day two and day eight.

In a written Welsh Government statement, Mr Miles said: “I recognise that some schools and parents have been confused and concerned that pupils can attend school or college if they are a household contact as long as they are asymptomatic.

“I have listened to these concerns and considered what additional assurance can be provided while also enabling learners to continue to attend school.

“Where appropriate we want to reduce the testing of children without symptoms but due to the increase in prevalence and the concerns expressed about household contacts it is vital that we do all we can to keep children in school.”

Mr Miles said he was concerned that testing of children aged under five had increased fivefold since August.

“Testing can be distressing for the child, it can be difficult to obtain an appropriate sample and, of course, children of this age are much less likely to pass on the virus to others,” he said.

“Following advice from our testing advisory group I have agreed that we will no longer recommend that children under five years of age take Covid-19 tests without symptoms.

“Where children under five do have symptoms we would not routinely recommend tests unless directed to do so by a doctor or if parents believe a test is absolutely necessary and in the best interests of the child.”