The requirement for secondary aged pupils – and all school staff – to take a rapid Covid-19 test twice a week has been extended until the end of the current term by the Government.

It comes amid rising Covid-19 cases in schools in Wolverhampton and nationally. There have been 312 cases of Covid-19 among pupils and staff reported to the City of Wolverhampton Council in the last 10 days.

With the system of bubbles now scrapped, whole classes or year groups no longer need to self-isolate as a result of a positive case, meaning that schools, children and parents must remain extra-vigilant to prevent an outbreak.

To help stop the virus from spreading, secondary school pupils, and all school staff, are asked to take a rapid Covid-19 test twice a week to identify cases in people without symptoms. 

Meanwhile, face coverings should continue to be worn in enclosed and crowded spaces, such as on public and school transport, and people are urged to get their life-saving Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible, if they are able to.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "With over 1,000 people testing positive for Covid-19 in Wolverhampton last week, and cases increasing in schools across the country, it is no surprise that the Government has extended testing requirements until the end of term. 

"Secondary pupils and all school staff should ensure they take a rapid test twice a week, and I would encouraged family members to do likewise to reassure themselves and others that they don’t have Covid-19. And anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus, no matter how mild, must self-isolate and get a PCR as soon as possible. If everyone does this, we can help keep the virus out of our schools.”

Staff and pupils who return a positive rapid test result must self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test. If the PCR test is taken within 2 days of the positive rapid test and is negative, they can return to school, as long as they don’t have any symptoms of Covid-19; otherwise they must self-isolate as per Government guidelines.

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 must self-isolate and book a PCR test as soon as possible.

People are no longer required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as, or are a close contact of, someone with Covid-19, or if they are below the age of 18 and a half, or if they are fully vaccinated or cannot have the vaccine for medical reasons. Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and advised to take a PCR test.

To book a PCR test, people should visit GOV.UK or call 119. For details of rapid Covid-19 testing, for people without symptoms of the virus, please visit Coronavirus Testing

For more details of walk-in clinics where people can get first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, please visit Covid-19 Vaccination

Latest figures show there were 381.6 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the last 7 days. That means 1,004 people tested positive for the virus in that same period – though the true number of cases will likely be higher.