Health officials have confirmed they are scrapping the requirement for all children who are a direct contact of a confirmed covid case to take a PCR test.
The decision was flagged yesterday in the States Assembly by the Health Minister, Deputy Richard Renouf, but has now been confirmed.
Instead, from Thursday 25th November, any student aged three to 18 years old, and all educational staff, who are a direct contact of a positive case in an education or nursery setting, will be asked to use Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs), at home, daily for 10 days.
The relaxation is being made to help ease the pressure on families who are currently being told to go for multiple PCR tests each week, as one of the family is a direct contact of a case amongst their schoolmates.
Children under 3 years-old, in nursery settings, will only be asked to take five Lateral Flow Tests over a 10-day period.
All students and staff can continue to attend nursery, school or college as long as their daily LFT test is negative. All test results, regardless of whether they are positive or negative, should be submitted onto the online LFT portal for 10 days.
Confirmatory PCR tests will remain in place for any student or staff member who tests positive on an LFT test.
Pictured: PCR tests are now available at the airport again, as well as the harbour.
Any student or staff member showing COVID-19 symptoms should stay home, book a PCR test, and not attend school or college until they receive a negative PCR test result.
The testing policy remains unchanged for any staff member or student who is identified as a direct contact outside of the school or nursery setting, such as a direct contact within a household or anywhere outside of a school environment, and they will be required to attend for a PCR test.
Children and Education Minister, Deputy Scott Wickenden, said: “Ministers fully appreciate and value the hard work and dedication across the early years, school and college community during these difficult times and are fully aware of the challenges that all our staff have faced and continue to face.
“These new measures are vital due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in schools, colleges and nurseries and the disruption being caused to students and staff who are direct contacts. We saw the impact school closures had on children and young people’s mental health, which is why we must do all we can to keep education settings and nurseries open and support them during another critically challenging period.”
For nursery, school and college direct contacts, free LFT kits will be available from nurseries, schools and colleges on Thursday, 25 November.
Students and staff members who are currently booked in for a PCR test as a result of being identified as a direct contact do not need to attend the appointment and are requested to call the Coronavirus helpline on 0800 735 5566 or email email@example.com to cancel.
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