Covid: Secondary school testing in England and Scottish rail cancellationson January 3, 2022 at 7:30 am

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Monday morning.

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Monday morning. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow.

1. English secondary pupils to be tested before starting term

Secondary school pupils in England will be tested for Covid-19 at least once before rejoining classes for the new term, the government has said. Ministers assured schools testing kits will be provided as needed and urged pupils to test twice weekly. It comes as the government reintroduced mandatory face masks in secondary schools until 26 January on Sunday, while ministers also stressed nothing in the Covid data suggests new restrictions are needed.

Pupils in masks

Image source, PA Media

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2. ScotRail to introduce temporary timetable for January

Staff shortages caused by Covid-19 has forced ScotRail to make temporary changes to its timetable from Tuesday. The rail operator has hundreds of staff isolating which has led to dozens of services being cancelled, mostly within the central belt of the country. To provide customers with a level of certainty about which trains are running a temporary timetable will be in place until 28 January, ScotRail has announced.

ScotRail staff member

Image source, Getty Images

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3. Israel Omicron spike could bring herd immunity but with risks

A surge of Omicron cases could see Israel reach Covid herd immunity, the country’s top health adviser has said. Nachmann Ash said Israel would pay a price for this and he wanted to see herd immunity achieved through vaccinations instead. Modellers have warned that up to four million people could be infected by the end of January, while Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has admitted current policy will not prevent a steep rise in infections.

Israeli nurse preparing a Covid-19 vaccine while woman waits

Image source, Reuters

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4. NI schools may face ‘significant disruption’ in new term – union

A teaching union in has called on the Northern Irish government to take urgent action to reduce any further disruption in schools. NASUWT said its members want to be able to provide face-to-face teaching in the new term which begins this week. The union urged the Stormont Executive to provide schools with air cleaning units, support for on-site testing should it be needed and financial help to cover costs of substitute staff.

Child in classroom

Image source, Getty Images

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5. Thousands needed hospital treatment after lockdown DIY

Thousands of people injured in household accidents were admitted to English hospitals during Covid-19 lockdowns, new NHS figures show. The 2020/21 statistics obtained by the PA News agency found accidents fell in many categories as people spent more time indoors, with DIY the cause of many injuries. Numerous incidents of people falling from playground equipment who needed hospital treatment, including eight over the age of 90, were recorded.

A man suffers a household injury

Image source, Getty Images

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And there’s more…

If you’d like to know more about what exactly is happening in UK schools this term click here.

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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Image source, BBC

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