PARENTS and carers are now encouraged to test primary school children twice a week in a bid to curb the increasing Covid rates.

Essex County Council is advising the regular lateral-flow testing for children aged 2 and over.

This comes after infection rates in primary school age children in Essex jump over the past few weeks.

Letters have also been sent to parents and carers across the county with the new advice.

Dr Mike Gogarty, Essex County Council’s director of public health, is encouraging regular testing for this age group providing it does not cause distress for children.

He said: “We cannot underestimate the rapidly increasing rate of Covid-19 infections we are seeing in Essex primary schools at present and what this will inevitably mean for schools and pupils over the coming weeks.

“The education of children and young people is a top priority this academic year, and so we are asking parents and carers to take action now and help us to manage this so that pupils do not miss out on the important benefits of being in the classroom.

“We appreciate that the changes in Covid-19 guidance can cause anxiety for some, but it is vital that we prevent the spread of the virus within the wider community, especially over the winter months.”

Test kits can be collected from pharmacies by using a collect code via or