ALL households with schoolchildren to get two 'rapid' tests a week – and results will show in just minutes
Following the announcement that schools will return from March 8, whole families and households will now be offered twice-weekly tests.
As part of the roadmap out of lockdown, primary, secondary and college pupils will return to school next week, March 8.
Now, they have announced that whole families and households will also be offered regular testing – and the tests will only take 30 minutes to yield a result.
Twice-weekly testing using rapid lateral flow tests will be offered for free to all families and households with primary, secondary school and college-aged children and young people, the Government has confirmed, and they can be delivered home or collected.
What is a rapid lateral flow test?
Rapid testing detects cases in under 30 minutes.
This can be the difference between children being able to stay in school, or a class being sent home due to an outbreak.
It could also be the difference between a workplace having to close for a period, or being able to stay open and running.
How do you get them – and when are they available?
Tests will be available for adults in these households to collect from March 1.
A secondary PCR test will be required for positive lateral flow tests which are taken at home, either through at home PCR testing or at a local PCR testing site.
A new home ordering service, which will be launched today, March 1, will allow people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Regular testing of households and childcare support bubbles of primary and secondary school children is another tool we are making available to help keep schools safe.
"We know that 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms, so targeted, regular testing will mean more positive cases are kept out of schools and colleges.
“As we continue to roll out the vaccine, testing offers us a way forward. Sustained and repeated testing for people without symptoms has a critical role to play as sections of society are reopened by driving down transmission rates.”