Pupils line up for Covid tests ahead of England’s schools reopening next week

PUPILS lined up for Covid tests yesterday ahead of England’s schools reopening on Monday.

Students at Outwood Academy Adwick, in Doncaster, South Yorks, were swabbed — a scene mirrored at schools across the country.

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In the first two weeks back, there will be three tests at school and one at home. The first three at school will be seen as training for children.

After that, pupils and staff will be given rapid lateral flow tests to take twice a week at home. They will be urged to take them before coming in to school, ideally in the morning.

The tests — involving a nasal and throat swab — are taken voluntarily.

Students will still be allowed into school even if they do not agree to do the swab tests.

If a staff member or pupil tests positive, they must self-isolate. If they test positive at home, they must have a second swab at a testing centre to confirm the result.

Staff and pupils in English schools in Year 7 and above should wear masks indoors — including classrooms — unless social distancing can be maintained. Rules will be reviewed at Easter.

Some students and staff may be exempt if they have a legitimate reason, such as a disability or illness.

Start and finish times will also be staggered at many schools to avoid too many people at the gates.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The return to school is what we’ve been looking forward to.

“It’s time for children to be back in school learning and playing with their friends.”

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