Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Tests for four-year-olds to start, ministry urges teachers to use Test to Stay

rapid test σε Δημοτικά Σχολεία rapid antigen te
File photo

The obligation of children aged four and above who attend nursery or pre-reception classes too undergo a weekly rapid test will begin on Monday, the ministry of health reminded on Sunday.

Each unit, the ministry said, will pick a day to carry out the tests. Those who are fully vaccinated or have had Covid within the last 90 days do not need to have a test.

“The rapid antigen test (rapid test) will be provided free of charge at the sampling points of the programme of the Ministry of Health,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the ministry of education has appealed to teachers in primary and high schools to use the Test to Stay measure that is in place for the students.

Had it been used then 20 per cent of the teachers who were not at school on Friday would have been able to be in the classroom, it said.

As the ministry tries to cover teachers who are at home, a large number of them are not sick but are contacts, the ministry said.

It said on Friday around 60 per cent of teachers not in the classroom had Covid while the others were either contacts or had to stay at home to look after children who were self isolating.

“It is clear that replacement needs could be drastically reduced if teachers also used the Test to Stay procedure,” an announcement said.

“Around 150 teachers, which represents around 20 per cent of those missing, could be in school if they or their children took part in the Test to Stay programme,” it added.

As such, the ministry called on teaching unions to influence their members to partake of the Test to Stay programme to not burden schools with absences that could be avoided.

“We believe that the educational organisations POED, OELMEK and OLTEK could help alleviate the problems created by the unprecedented number of replacements that schools have to manage,” the ministry said.

Since the government and the ministry of health have made changes to the running of the Test to Stay programme after suggestions from teaching unions, “we believe that we should all use it, contributing to the smoothest possible operation of schools,” it added.

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