Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has written to secondary school and college parents and guardians in England to talk about the importance of regular testing when it comes to keeping covid out of the classroom.
The Prime Minister announced on 14 June that step 4 of the roadmap would have to be paused for up to four weeks because of the spread of the new variant.
With the increase in cases with variants of concern, it is important to continue regular testing in order to detect cases of coronavirus, stay ahead of the virus and keep covid out of the classroom.
This means that regular asymptomatic testing for all will continue, and we need you and your children who are in secondary school or college to carry on testing at home, twice a week.
As you know, testing has been playing a vital role in our response to the virus. It is helping to break chains of transmission by identifying asymptomatic positive cases quickly. This means those who test positive can self-isolate, keeping other pupils and students in face-to-face education. Reporting all test results, positive or negative, helps the health experts have a clearer picture of any potential outbreaks in different parts of the country.
I want to thank you all for your efforts so far. I know that this has been an enormously challenging time for families, who have faced many pressures over the past 18 months. Your continued support in helping us fight the virus has been vital.
Secondary pupils and college students, households and their bubbles, along with school and college staff have now completed more than 50 million tests since these were introduced back in January. That really is an incredible number and we need you to continue your efforts.
It is wonderful to see so many children back in school and through your actions we can work together to keep everyone safe ensuring we can also keep your children in school with their friends.
Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP Secretary of State for Education