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Bubble system ends but regular testing to continue as schools and colleges return this week

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THOUSANDS of students will return to schools and colleges this week with updated Covid-19 measures in place.

Singing and playing brass instruments can restart, and bubble systems which limit contact between larger groups of pupils are no longer required.

In Hampshire, county council guidance to preschools, schools and colleges recommended that face coverings should continue to be used on public transport to and from school.

Croxton Kerrial school has confirmed a case of Covid-19. (45095687)
Croxton Kerrial school has confirmed a case of Covid-19. (45095687)

Hampshire County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Roz Chadd, said: “For the autumn term, the priority for the county council and all education settings is to ensure that pupils and students can safely and effectively return to learning in the classroom, in a way that keeps any possible Covid-19 risks to the absolute minimum.

“It has been an especially challenging 18 months for children and young people and we want their lives to return to normal as much as possible.”

Children, teenagers and fully vaccinated adults will no longer need to self-isolate when they have been in contact with a person who tests positive for Covid-19, and will instead be asked to take a PCR test.

Regular twice-weekly home testing with lateral flow devices will be continued for secondary aged pupils and college students. Children and teenagers who are unwell should stay at home.

Staggered start and finish times and other measures may continue in some schools as a result of risk assessments.

Cllr Chadd added: “As restrictions ease it may seem as if coronavirus has gone away, but every action we take to stop the spread still counts.

"I want to encourage people of all ages to do their part by using tissues to catch and bin coughs and sneezes, continuing frequent hand washing, and using twice weekly lateral flow tests if they are eligible.”

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