Following the government’s roadmap announcement, we welcome the news that schools can begin to reopen from Monday 8 March.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health, said: “Our children and young people are returning to their educational settings from Monday 8 March, which is excellent news. I thank everyone who has supported them during this challenging period.

“Lateral Flow Tests will now be undertaken in secondary schools and further education settings. These tests give a result after 30 minutes and are used to detect people with Covid-19 who do not have symptoms. Students will have already been invited to attend school or college to have a test. Their first three tests will be within their education setting. We will then move to home testing.

“Testing is important because staff, students and pupils without symptoms could be carrying the virus and may spread it to others. One in three people with Covid-19 show no symptoms. Regular testing will support secondary schools and colleges to operate as safely as possible.  Schools have been successfully carrying out asymptomatic testing of staff since January, and secondary pupils attending school experienced testing on return earlier in the year. This has worked well.

“It is only by working together that we will beat this virus, I urge you to continue to remain vigilant and to rigorously follow all the restrictions still in place to protect us. The virus has not gone away and we need our cases to stay low to stay out of lockdown.”

Councillor Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “I recognise the enormous pressure home learning has put on everyone involved I would like to thank you all for the many sacrifices you have made to help keep cases low in Torbay.

“We have been working closely with all educational settings in the Bay and are confident that Covid-safe measures are in place to ensure the safe return of all our children and young people. Transport providers have also been working with us to ensure that bus and train routes will be up and running for the return date.”

Councillor Jackie Stockman, Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, said: “We are delighted that our children and young people can return to education. This is a positive milestone in what has felt like a very long year.

“I know we are all are keen to see the return of our children and young people to the classroom. We must now do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible. This includes following Government guidance to the letter so that our children and young people can have continued educational opportunities.”

Lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff will also start to be available over the coming weeks. The testing can come through different mechanisms.

  • through your employer if they offer testing to employees
  • at a local test site
  • by collecting a home test kit from a test site
  • by ordering a home test kit online

The Local Authority is currently establishing a community collect system for home testing for school households and bubbles. We anticipate that this will be available from week commencing 21 March 2021.

In the interim these groups can order home test kits through the national system.  

Order rapid lateral flow home test kits

Lateral Flow Testing devices should not be used if you have symptoms. It is really important that if you have Covid-19 symptoms you book a Covid-19 test straight away. Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus and you and your household continue to isolate.

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