Children 'should stay at school unless there is a positive test in their bubble'

Pupils should not be sent home from school if someone in their class or bubble shows symptoms of coronavirus, Boris Johnson has said.

The PM said students only need to self-isolate if there is a positive case once the person with symptoms has been tested.

Testing sites across the country are facing shortages, meaning it could be days or weeks before groups of pupils know whether they have been around an infected classmate and could be ill themselves.

Mr Johnson said it was important for teachers and parents to examine the Public Health England guidance about testing

‘The reasons for sending a class or a bubble home would be if somebody tests positive,’ he told MPs on the Liaisons Committee.

It comes as a teaching union leader warned that schools are struggling to cope with a lack of coronavirus tests and the situation is becoming ‘increasingly out of control’.

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, has called on the government to prioritise the education sector for the allocation of tests.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said over the last few days it has received almost 300 complaints from schools and colleges who have symptomatic staff and/or pupils who can’t access a test.

Problems with the country’s testing system have been emerging over the past few weeks as infection rates rise.

Mr Johnson finally admitted today that we do not have enough testing capacity for coronavirus.

He pledged to have reached 500,000 tests a day by the end of October – though Health Secretary Matt Hancock previously said this would happen within a week from now.

‘Demand has massively accelerated just in the last couple of weeks,’ the Prime Minister said.

‘I think many people are seeking to get a test in the hope that they can thereby be released to get on with their lives in the normal way. ‘The advice is people should seek a test when they have symptoms.’

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