Sheffield parents could be forced to test kids twice a week for Covid when schools return

Parents of secondary school pupils would could be asked to test their children twice a week with rapid lateral flow tests under Government plans.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 9:10 am

Under Boris Johnson’s road map out of lockdown, set to be unveiled on Monday, pupils are expected to return to school from March 8.

But, to help schools function, the Daily Telegraph has reported that parents may have to test their children for Covid-19 at least twice a week.

More than 3 million rapid coronavirus tests have been conducted in schools and colleges in England since 4 January 2021, government figures show.

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Children walk home from school (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Schools and colleges have remained open to children of critical workers and vulnerable children during national lockdown and testing has helped to ‘reduce the spread of the virus in these settings, keeping them open for those attending’.

The government has stated that regular testing will provide ‘further reassurance to parents, students and staff that schools are safe’, and where Covid cases do occur they can be identified quickly.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "At any other time, it would have been unimaginable to suggest that a testing programme of this scale and impact could be delivered at the speed we have seen.

“I am grateful and humbled by the actions that everyone working in education has taken to pull together and deliver this programme. Alongside the wider protective measures in place that we must all continue following, this asymptomatic testing helps break chains of transmission by taking people who are infectious but don’t know it out of circulation.

“I hope it gives parents and students the same confidence it gives me – that every possible action is being taken to get all students back into education as soon as possible.”

This comes as Boris Johnson awaits

new data on the impact of vaccines on coronavirus after stressing he will take a “cautious and prudent approach” to easing England’s third national lockdown.

The Prime Minister is understood to be expecting evidence on the impact of the UK’s jabs programme on hospital admissions and deaths by the end of Friday.

Major research has shown lockdown measures were significantly driving down infection levels across the nation, but that they remained high and at similar levels to those observed in late September