Secondary school pupils in Wales face daily Covid-19 testing if there is a confirmed case at home.
In Wales, both secondary school pupils and college pupils have been advised to take lateral flow tests daily if a member of their household has tested positive for COVID. The tests are recommended for seven days, according to the Welsh Government.
Jeremy Miles, the Education Minister hopes to “minimise disruption to education and childcare” with the new testing guidelines. The changes will come into place next Monday and he believes that they will give “further reassurance” to pupils that they are not infectious.
Mr Miles explained: “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.”
The minister is concerned that since August the number of children aged less than five years old undergoing testing has increased dramatically.
He said: “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,”
“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.”
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