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Pupils in France will need several negative tests to return to school

The number of negative Covid tests needed and the time between tests is still yet to be decided, even as schools are set to re-open as normal on January 3

A young boy holds up a negative Covid self-test

Children will now need to take more than on Covid test before being allowed to return to school if there is a positive case in their class Pic: Rades / Shutterstock

Schoolchildren in France will need to take several Covid tests before being allowed to return to school in the event that there is a positive case in their class, from January onwards, the government has said.

National Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said today that protocols in schools will become “more demanding”.

The previous rules stated that children needed to have one negative test result before returning to school, in the event that there was a positive case in their class. 

Now, children will need to take at least two tests with negative results, taken several days apart, in order to stay in school. In between the tests, they will likely be allowed to stay in class, the minister said.

The specific protocol is set to be announced in the coming days. 

Prime Minister Jean Castex said that “discussions are ongoing” on the exact numbers of tests needed, and the exact time required between tests. 

Schools are set to reopen as normal on January 3, Mr Castex confirmed on December 27, as he detailed 11 new measures in France designed to combat the fifth wave and the spread of the new more contagious Omicron variant.

Read more: France announces 11 new anti-Covid measures

It comes as the government has permitted supermarkets to sell at-home Covid tests until January 31 in addition to pharmacies, as cases continue to spread and demand for self-tests soars.

Read more: Covid France: Supermarkets to sell self-tests until January 31

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