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Universities: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL268, tabled on 17 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefits of sustaining PCR testing and sequencing at scale in universities as a means of identifying and understanding new variants; and what plans they have to fund support for such testing and sequencing.

Answered on

10 June 2021

No specific assessment has been made. The regular testing offered at universities is with lateral flow devices (LFDs) rather than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. In line with wider national policy, all positive LFD tests are followed by a confirmatory PCR test. The intention is for 100% of viable positive samples from PCR tests to be presented for sequencing to identify and understand new variants. PCR testing and sequencing are provided and funded by NHS Test and Trace.