COVID-19 rapid testing in schools from September will cost €850,000

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Tallinn English College. Source: Martin Dremljuga/ERR

Coronavirus rapid tests are to be sent to kindergartens and schools ahead of the next academic year, the education ministry says. The distribution will cost €850,000, and follows a trial period of rapid tests.

While the full results of the trial period have not yet been compiled, schools, which went back to contact learning at the start of this week, will be getting the full roll-out of rapid tests, the ministry says.

Education ministry undersecretary Pärt-Eo Rannap said: "The plan is to distribute the tests to educational institutions in August. Before drawing up a usage and distribution plan, we are awaiting an overview of researchers' policy options in the near future, and which type of testing practice would be most effective: When, where and how often to perform tests."

The ministry distributed 50,000 rapid tests to local governments for trialling in kindergartens, general education and vocational schools at the beginning of this month, with one school, Tallinn English College (Tallinna Inglise Kolledž) saying that of just over 40 test recipients of different ages polled, nearly all said they would take the test again where needed and that instructions for testing were clear, even if they conducted a test themselves and without parental supervision.

The ministry says it wants the full feedback on the testing from schools no later than mid-June.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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