To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to paragraph 25 of Covid-19 Response: Summer 2021, for how long his Department plans to continue regular asymptomatic covid-19 testing for (a) the public, (b) children at school, (c) students at university or college and (d) employees in workplaces.
Test, Trace and Isolate has an important ongoing role in managing the virus and reduces the risk of potentially dangerous variants spreading. It continues to be important that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 arranges to have a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and that they stay at home while they are waiting for a home test kit, a test site appointment or a test result.
We continue to recommend twice-weekly asymptomatic testing. Testing remains freely available to all through pharmacies and online at GOV.UK. However, we are stopping free testing offered through workplaces as planned on the 31 July 2021. Asymptomatic testing will continue for education settings open over the summer, including summer schools and wraparound care. On the return to school and college in the autumn term, pupils will take two tests onsite before continuing with twice weekly asymptomatic testing until the end of September, when the position will be reviewed. Asymptomatic testing in vulnerable and higher-risk settings, such as the National Health Service, social care and prisons, will continue until further notice.