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Cardiff Council

COVID-19 testing in schools

If your child is displaying COVID-19 symptoms you should book a PCR test:
In the event you cannot book a test, or there are long wait periods for a test date, your school can arrange testing on your behalf.

Please follow self-isolation guidance while waiting for test results.

Lateral flow testing (LFT) in schools

Regular, twice weekly, Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) will be offered to:
  • Pupils in year 7 and above in secondary schools and further education
  • Staff in all registered childcare settings including Flying Start settings, schools and further education settings
The aim of introducing rapid testing is to ensure that schools identify possible asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 as quickly as possible, minimise the opportunity for onward transmission and keep schools as safe as possible.
A short video demonstration and step-by-step guides in a series of different languages can be found on the GOV.UK website. View Covid-19 self-test help.​​​​​​​​​​​​External link opens in a new window

LFT tests should not be misused, shared or passed onto others.

LFT tests are only used to detect asymptomatic cases and ensure it is safe for people to go to school and work. They should not be used to test for COVID-19 in anyone with symptoms.

It is vital new symptoms are tested using the PCR method at a testing centre. This method is a far more effective way of testing. If you receive a positive Lateral Flow Test result you still have to go to a test centre to have a PCR test to confirm the positive result.

Staff and pupils should not attend a school or setting if they have tested positive using a LFT test. Please follow self-isolation guidance​​​​​​​​​​​​External link opens in a new window and isolate immediately.

Anyone who has tested positive should:
​​You will be contacted by the local contact tracing team to identify contacts who will need to self-isolate.

If a positive LFT test result is followed by a negative PCR test result within 24 hours, you can return to school as normal.

If a PCR test is taken after 24 hours of a positive LFT you will need to continue to self-isolate for 10 days even if the result is negative.

A negative test result does not remove the risk of transmission.

Close contacts of positive COIVD-19 cases

Within Cardiff and the Vale we are not currently advising close contacts in schools to get tested as a matter of course. The decision on whether to ask all children in a bubble to get a test is taken by the TTP depending on a number of factors.

If a positive lateral flow test has been identified in your child’s bubble, the bubble will have to isolate as a precautionary measure, until a confirmatory antigen (PCR) test result can be obtained.

Once the antigen test result is known, parents will be contacted to advise if their child can return to school or will be required to self-isolate for 10 days as a contact of a confirmed case.

Taking a test is not an alternative to self-isolation. If your child has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case they must still complete the 10 day self-isolation period even if they receive a negative test result.