Children under five will no longer be recommended to take Covid tests unless explicitly told to by a doctor, the Welsh Government has said.
In a press conference today, education minister Jeremy Miles said he was announcing the change because cases among the under fives remain low. Mr Miles said there has been a review of the benefits of testing young children by the Welsh Government’s clinical advisory and prioritisation group who have said there is “limited benefit in widespread testing”.
At the press briefing, Mr Miles also updated the advice on under-18s self isolating. Secondary school children living with a positive Covid case will now be advised to take daily Covid tests before going to school for a week.. Follow live updates from that here.
In relation to under 5s, Mr Miles said that asymptomatic children under the age of 5 were no longer recommended to take a Covid test. Where they have symptoms, a test will only be advised when it is specifically recommended by a doctor or carer as being “absolutely necessary”.
Mr Miles said: “We are also conscious of how obtaining a sufficient sample can be for parents or carers. Therefore I can confirm we will no longer recommend that children under five take Covid 19 tests if they are without symptoms.
“If they have symptoms, we would not routinely recommend tests unless they are asked to do by a doctor or if their parent or carer believes a test is absolutely necessary and in the best interests of the child”.
At the press conference, the education minister also announced that secondary school children living with someone with Covid will be asked to take daily tests before they go to school.
Currently, the advice is that any secondary school or college child who is a close contact of someone who has covid has to take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 but he has said that students in secondary school or college who are a household contact will be asked to take daily lateral flow tests for seven days.
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