A MUM from Barmouth says she is “sceptical” about Gwynedd Council’s calls for secondary school pupils to take lateral flow tests twice a week.

The council is asking pupils to take two tests a week as they return to school. School staff are being urged to do the same, and contact groups put in place across the county last year are no longer in place.

Toni Wisbey, who has a daughter at Ysgol Uwchradd in Tywyn, said: “I’m a little sceptical about the testing twice a week as I’m not sure if the tests are accurate, although I have opted for my 13-year-old daughter to receive the tests from school.

“This will be to keep the rest of the household safe as well as her.

“I struggled to send my children during the pandemic but I do worry that they have lost so much school.

“It’s a hard one as the children have so much to learn they will lose out on so much if they are off any longer.

“I do think anyone with symptoms should stay off until a PCR test has been done.

“There is one thing I am struggling with and that’s if a teacher is traced as a contact and they have been vaccinated, will they have to be isolated or will they be okay to carry on working as this could cause the spread throughout the school and then cause the school to close.”

A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said last week: “Most school pupils are returning to school today (Thursday) here in Gwynedd.

“Staff have been working hard to ensure that all necessary preparations are in place so that the pupils are able to return safely and we are grateful to them for their continued efforts.

“In accordance with Welsh Government regulations, contact groups which had been in place during the last school year, are no longer in place.

“However, we continue to urge secondary school pupils as well as all school staff to ensure that they take the lateral flow tests twice a week, to report the results, and to stay home if they test positive and make arrangements for a PCR test.”

Welsh Government guidance also asks families and learners to continue to follow guidance on isolating, testing and vaccination, to minimise the risk of the spread of Covid-19 in education settings.

The guidance for any staff or learner with symptoms of Covid-19 - however mild – is to stay at home and book a PCR test.

Jeremy Miles, minister for education and Welsh language, said: “Earlier in the summer, I wanted to ensure that at the start of the 2021/22 school year, we could keep learners and staff safe, and lessen the possible disruptions posed by Covid-19.

“By now, all of our workforce will either have received or been offered a vaccine. We have also offered the vaccine to all of Wales 16 and 17-year-olds, and will offer it to clinically vulnerable 12 to 15-year-olds.

“This means the risks posed by Covid-19 are much lower, but we still need people to follow some rules, to make sure we don’t risk the level of disruption of day-to-day learning that we saw during the pandemic.”