Since the publication of our Education Bulletin this morning (20 January), Public Health England has published a statement confirming that the daily contact testing process within schools has been “paused”. It is intended that further trials and pilot schemes will take place but, for the moment, the concerns raised by a number of stakeholders have been allayed by the suspension of the process.
The rapid testing programme will remain with the recommendation being that staff are tested twice a week and that pupils who return to school are tested twice.
The effect of the pause will be that schools will for the time being not be expected to test on a daily basis any pupils who have come into contact with a person who has tested positive in their contact group. This alternative to self-isolation has now been paused so pupils in the contact group or “bubble” will be required to self-isolate if a person in their contact group tests positive rather than continue to attend school if they show daily negative test returns.
The statement from PHE can be found here