LONDON () – All households in England with children of school or college age will be offered two exempt COVID-19 tests per person per week to support the government’s priority to return young people to the classroom, the health ministry said on Sunday.
Last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined a phased plan to end the latest English blockade of COVID-19, offering a “cautious” approach to trying to prevent a return to wholesale restrictions that have halted the economy.
He said the first phase will give priority to schools returning on March 8 when only minimal outdoor socializing will be allowed.
The health ministry said waste testing kits will be available for collection from Monday at more than 500 locations or through on-the-job testing and local community testing services.
High school and college students will be tested twice a week, initial tests will be given at school or college before moving on to home testing.
Asymptomatic primary school children will not be tested at school, but parents will be encouraged to test their children at home.
“We know that every third person with COVID-19 has no symptoms, so targeted, regular testing will mean that more positive cases are kept out of schools and colleges,” Health Minister Matt Hancock said.
The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England is falling, from 1 to 145 infected people in the week ending Feb. 19, the National Statistics Office said Friday.