Mass testing in England’s schools still in pilot stage, test and trace head says

FILE PHOTO: Dido Harding, Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace and Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock leave Downing Street in London, Britain December 10, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) – Plans for mass-testing in English schools are still being piloted and have to be adjusted in light of a new more-transmissable variant of the coronavirus, the head of England’s test and trace scheme said on Monday.

“It’s still very much in the sort of pilot and evaluation stage,” Dido Harding told lawmakers.

“Since those pilots that we ran in the autumn… the new variant has emerged, and we currently have obviously much higher rates of infection.”

She added that she was speaking to the regulator to share data “so that we’re all aware of how these protocols need to evolve as the virus itself evolves.”

Reporting by Paul Sandle and Alistair Smout; editing by Costas Pitas

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