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France eases Covid-19 testing protocols for schoolchildren

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French schoolchildren will be allowed to do self-tests instead of PCR tests, as a surge in Covid-19 infections has made the health protocol in the education sector too heavy, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Monday. 

“This will have an effect on the queues [outside pharmacies]”, Castex told France 2 television in an interview. 

“Today, 10,452 classes had to close. If we were to shut down classes as soon as there is one first case, bearing in mind the explosion of Omicron, all French schools would be closed in a matter of days”, Castex said.

From now on, three negative self-tests instead of a PCR test will be enough proof for a child to continue to attend school, Castex said. 

He added that as an additional measure, parents will not immediately be asked to pick up their children in case of a COVID-19 outbreak. Instead schools will be allowed to wait until the end of the school day.

France reported close to 94,000 new Covid-19 cases , pushing the seven-day moving average of new infections to a new high of 269,614, official data showed on Monday, the 14th consecutive day seeing the value climbing up.

On Mondays, reported new infections usually drop sharply due to reporting lags on the weekend. In the past seven days, the one-day infections tally has been over 300,000 three times, and came in at more than 296,000 on Sunday.



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