first_imgGovernment announces a targeted testing drive for secondary school and college students in parts of north east London, Essex and Kent Aims to combat a rapid increase in cases among this age group by identifying asymptomatic cases and helping to break chains of transmission Mobile testing units will be deployed and home tests kits will be distributed and staff, students and their families will be urged to get tested this weekend Any student, staff or family members who test positive will have to isolate for the required period, and NHS Test and Trace will work closely with Local Authorities to take appropriate measures to support contacts within schools, and carry out necessary contact tracing.The additional capacity comes thanks to the historic expansion of testing capacity by NHS Test and Trace, which is now able to process nearly 600,000 PCR tests every day and deploy new rapid lateral flow tests.Background informationChildren under 12 must be accompanied by a guardian and the test has to be administered by that guardian.Children 12 to 17 must be accompanied by a guardian and can administer the test themselves.Children under 12 do not need to wear a face mask.In LondonAn additional 44,000 home test kits will be made available for school staff including teachers to test before returning in January.Additional MTUs will be deployed in or near schools for staff, students and their families to be tested, providing tests over and above existing test sites in the capital.London boroughs receiving additional testing are: Barking and Dagenham Hackney and the City Havering Newham Redbridge Tower Hamlets Waltham Forest Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: Cases in London, Essex and Kent have been rising rapidly, with the fastest rates in those aged under 11 to 18 years old.From today all staff, students and their families in certain schools and colleges will be urged to get tested. Latest figures from the ONS showed almost 1 in 3 people in England show no symptoms of having the virus but are still able to pass it on. Large-scale rapid testing helps identify these asymptomatic cases, driving down infection rates and helping break chains of transmission.Schools and colleges will be provided with information on how to get involved, and parents or carers will be able to apply for tests using the online testing portal. Children under 16 attending a mobile testing unit (MTU) need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.The surge testing capacity will be deployed to help identity as many positive cases as possible, especially those who may be asymptomatic and unwittingly transmitting the virus.Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: In EssexAn additional 10 MTUs will be deployed tomorrow and over the weekend.Essex boroughs receiving additional testing are:center_img This additional testing capacity underlines this government’s commitment to ensuring that education is a national priority, because that is in the best interests of students’ progress, development and wellbeing. I would encourage everyone eligible to access the testing and I’d like to thank staff for continuing to ensure that schools and colleges have protective measures in place to reduce the risk of transmission. We want to keep schools and colleges open, because it is right both for education and public health, but in the face of rapidly rising cases we must act to target rising rates in secondary school pupils. From our successes in Liverpool and Leicester we know surge testing is safe, and helps us quickly assess where the virus is spreading most and take action to stop it in its tracks. I urge every student, parent and teacher in these areas to step forward for testing, irrespective of whether they have symptoms. While COVID-19 may be lower risk to children and young people, it still poses a significant risk to their families and communities. By taking these vital steps, we can get on top of cases and help bring transmission of this virus under control now. In KentAn additional 2 MTUs will be deployed tomorrow, with a further 10 MTUs arriving at the weekend. Southend Basildon Basildon Canvey Island Harlow Brentwood Harlow Southendlast_img read more

first_imgWorld Cup fans will be able to watch an unprecedented four games a day on television, spread out over 11 hours, during the group stage of the Qatar 2022 tournament after the schedule was confirmed on Wednesday.With the relatively short travel distances for the venues in and around Doha, it could be possible for fans who travel to the 32-team tournament to attend multiple games each day.The early games will kickoff at 1300 local (1000GMT) with the fourth match starting at 2200 local (1900GMT) and finishing just before midnight. The tournament’s opening game on Nov. 21, will be at the 60,000 capacity Al Bayt Stadium, with its distinctive ‘tent’ style covering.The final on Dec. 18 will be held at the 80,000 Lusail Stadium, which, like Al Bayt, will also host a semi-final.”The World Cup is always a festival of football, a real celebration for the fans who come on-site and watch. In Qatar, with the compact nature, this is going to be amplified even more with 32 teams and 32 sets of supporters all in and around Doha,” said FIFA Chief Tournaments and Events Officer, Colin Smith.FIFA will wait until the draw for the tournament is held in March or April of 2022 before assigning specific games to venues and time-slots. That will enable them to better align games with time zones for domestic television partners of the competing teams.The tournament was switched from it’s usual June-July slot due to the heat in the Gulf state and is the first that will be held in the middle of the European season.Nasser Al Khater, CEO of the Qatar World Cup organizing company, said plans for the tournament were well on schedule with 90% of the work finished on roads and infrastructure.”When we talk about the stadiums, more than 85% of the work has been completed and really now, the last two years, we’re focusing on our operation readiness and making sure we get the fan experience plans in place,” he said. Topics :last_img read more