Plans to use rapid daily Covid testing to help keep the close contacts of sufferers in school have been paused by the government, the BBC reports.
Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace have said more research is needed on how daily contact testing would work given the new coronavirus variant.
However, routine testing to pick up asymptomatic cases in staff and pupils remains key, and testing of staff will now increase to twice a week.
Scientists have raised concerns about the accuracy of rapid ‘lateral flow’ tests and their ability to produce a false-negative.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL, told the TES: “We are relieved that lateral flow tests have now been paused as an alternative to self-isolation for individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus.
“This use of these tests never really made sense because they don’t detect all those with the infection, so we could potentially have ended up with more infectious people in school than under the self-isolation system where close contacts are sent home.
“We have been making this point to the government repeatedly over the past few weeks.”