As children return to school on the Isle of Wight this week, many are taking part in voluntary testing for Covid-19 - even though they do not have any symptoms.

Families with children at school and college are also being asked to get twice weekly Lateral Flow Tests - but what are they and where do you get them from on the Isle of Wight?

UPDATE: Test kits are now available for collection on the Isle of Wight. CLICK HERE to read the story.

Tests for children

Children are being tested twice a week, though it is not compulsory.

The first three tests are completed in school and the results are emailed to parents and carers.

After that, tests are expected to be sent home with school children, so they can carry them out themselves.

Tests for families and those leaving home for essential reasons

On February 28, the government announced plans for families with school children to be offered tests, alongside other mass testing in the community.

Some areas already have sites where you can pick up supplies of Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs). There is nowhere to do that on the Isle of Wight yet, but there are plans for one.

Until then, you can book free LFT tests at the Isle of Wight's community testing sites (scroll down for more).

You can also order online for home delivery.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Isle of Wight Council says a ‘community collect’ scheme, where LFT tests can be picked up by households with children at school or college, and others leaving home for essential reasons, is coming soon. 

How long does it take to get the results?

A result from a test takes about 30 minutes. 

What is a Lateral Flow Test?

Lateral flow test are for people who do NOT have symptoms of Covid-19, who may be spreading the virus without knowing it. If you do have symptoms, the government says you should isolate and book a test at a community site.

Taking a lateral flow test involves taking a sample from the back of the throat (near the tonsils) and from the nose, using a swab.

The swab is dipped into an extraction solution.

This is dripped on to the device's paper pad, producing a reaction that gives the result.

There is no need to send the sample to a lab.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Where are the community test sites on the Isle of Wight?

Tests can be booked at:

Newport – County Hall, High Street
Sandown – The Heights Leisure Centre, Broadway
Ryde – Westridge Centre, Brading Road
West Wight – Community Hall, St James’ St, Yarmouth
Cowes – Isle of Wight Community Club, Park Rd

You will not need to travel to the mainland for testing.
A pre-booking system is in operation and if you can’t book online, call 01983 823660 to book a test.

What do I do if it's a positive result?

Those who test positive must immediately self-isolate to avoid passing the virus on to others.

Newclose Cricket Ground currently serves as a test site for people with coronavirus symptoms and an appointment is booked through the NHS.