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Coronavirus: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 68470, tabled on 2 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has any plans to introduce rapid covid saliva tests for (a) primary or (b) secondary school children.

Answered on

9 November 2021

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is currently trialling the use of direct LAMP, the most mature saliva test validated and available to deploy, for individuals with special educational needs and disabilities in a small number of restricted pilots. It is also being considered for other appropriate settings. In addition, the UKHSA is undertaking a review into alternatives to swab-based testing including all saliva-based options and other emerging technologies, in all vulnerable settings and populations.

At present, the public health advice does not recommend routine, asymptomatic testing of primary school aged children, though we will continue to explore options in response to any changes in evidence. Secondary school aged children have been able to access twice weekly swab-based lateral flow device testing through the asymptomatic testing programme.