Using voluntary swab tests, the study will assess the risk of coronavirus dissemination among preschool, elementary and secondary school students and teachers.
The tests will initially be carried out in up to 100 schools across England, including 15 in London, targeting around 200 employees and children in each school, with results available during the summer.
The announcement of the plan, which will be described in a statement from the Commons by education secretary Gavin Williamson, comes as cabinet meets to discuss new measures to ease the foreclosure.
It also comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted that not all schools could fully reopen even in September.
Given that Williamson is facing members of the House of Commons, it is likely that he will challenge the number of parents who have heeded government advice to send their children back to primary school in the past week.
Speaking before his statement on the school testing program, Mr. Williamson said, “We know that schooling is vital for the education of children and their well-being.
“Last week, elementary schools started welcoming some students again and secondary schools will start doing the same from June 15, as part of our gradual and cautious approach to bring children and youth back to class. .
“Studies like this will be invaluable as we continue to implement these plans and help us assess the next steps to bring all children back to schools, nurseries and colleges with their friends and teachers.” ”
The government insists that the test to determine if someone currently has the virus – involving a swab from the inside of the nose and back of the throat using a long cotton swab – is completely safe.
The antibody test to determine if someone has had the virus and developed antibodies requires a blood sample.
Trained pediatric staff will take all blood samples from children and qualified health professionals will visit schools to perform the tests.
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Mr. Hancock said: “An essential pillar of our COVID-19[female[feminine the screening strategy is surveillance – testing population samples to better understand the spread of COVID-19 – especially in those who do not have symptoms.
“This study will help us better understand the frequency of asymptomatic and mild cases of COVID-19 so that we can support parents, students, teachers and support staff, and inform our continued response to this new virus.” ”
The cabinet is also expected to discuss further relaxation of the lockdown measures:
- Relaxation of planning controls to allow pubs, restaurants and cafes to use outdoor spaces
- Relaxation of restrictions on weddings and funerals, including outdoor weddings
- Allow driving instructors to return to work
Ministers are also expected to consider future amendments to the controversial quarantine rules for people arriving in the UK, introduced this week, with “air bridges” exempting arrivals from popular holiday destinations.
The cabinet can also discuss the calls of an increasing number of conservative deputies – supported by certain ministers – to reduce the social distance rule from two meters to one and a half and even one meter, as is the case in d ‘other European countries.