Whole families and households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home as schools return from Monday 8 March.
As laid out in the Government’s roadmap, secondary school and college students will be tested twice a week, receiving three initial tests at school or college before moving to twice weekly home testing.
Primary school children will not be regularly symptom-free tested due to low levels of transmission between younger aged children but will continue to need to come forward for tests if they have symptoms.
The government has also confirmed twice-weekly testing using symptom-free rapid lateral flow tests will be given for free to all families and households with primary, secondary school and college aged children and young people, including childcare and support bubbles, to help find more COVID-19 cases and break chains of transmission.
Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders.
With about a third of people with coronavirus showing no symptoms and potentially spreading it without knowing, targeted, regular testing will mean more positive cases within households are found and prevented from entering schools and colleges, helping to keep educational settings safe.
Rapid symptom-free testing detects cases quickly – in under 30 minutes – meaning positive cases can isolate immediately. 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 of time or being able to stay open and running.
Those who are eligible are:
· Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age pupils
· Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary staff
· Adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders.
Those who are able to collect their kits in person can go to any of Wirral’s symptoms-only test centres from 1:30pm to 7pm each day (no appointment needed).
These sites are in Birkenhead, Bebington, Liscard and Heswall with address details at symptoms-only testing sites
And from Wednesday 24 March from our symptoms-free testing centres at Floral Pavilion in New Brighton, House of Fraser Building in Birkenhead, Eastham Library, Greasby Library all day.
Anyone eligible can also book to get regularly tested at one of our symptom-free testing centres or can order online and receive a home delivery using the following link:
Change to operating hours at Wirral’s symptoms-only testing centres
To accommodate the collection of the home testing kits, the opening hours of the symptoms-only testing centres in Wirral have changed.
Symptoms-only testing centres at Birkenhead, Bebington, Liscard and Heswall will now operate as below:
Open every day:
· 8am to 12 noon available to anyone with symptoms to get tested. Walk-ins or book at www.wirral.gov.uk/test
· 12noon to 1:30pm CLOSED
· 1:30pm to 7pm – collection point for symptom-free home testing kits