Berlin will soon get five million lollipop tests
Berlin is to receive five million so-called lollipop Coronavirus tests for daycare children in the next few weeks. "We have contracted a supplier and they have promised to deliver the lollipop tests by the end of January," a spokesman for the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Families told the German Press Agency (dpa).
Three weekly tests to become the standard
The children are to use the tests at home with their parents. "The supplier has promised to deliver 1.3 million tests to Berlin as early as mid-January," the spokesman stated. "Another 3.7 million tests are then to follow by the end of January."
Infections should be detected in time
Until now, two Coronavirus tests per week have been mandatory for daycare children. The higher testing frequency is intended to increase the likelihood of detecting infections in time and thus preventing further infections. In Berlin schools, five tests were required during the first week of classes after the Christmas holidays, but three tests per week will once again be the norm from Monday onwards.
Lollipop tests considered easier to use
The lollipop tests are used by sucking on a swab for about half a minute - just like a lollipop. They are thus considered more suitable for children and, according to the education administration, are easier to handle than the regular Coronavirus tests, where a sample is taken inside the nostrils.
Parent representatives welcome the use of lollipop tests
In Berlin, almost 170,000 children go to around 2700 daycare centers. The former Senator for Education, Sandra Scheeres (SPD), had long rejected compulsory testing for daycare children - unlike the Berlin state parents' association. Mandatory Coronavirus testing has now been in force since the beginning of December. Parent representatives had also campaigned for the lollipop tests months ago. Berlin's new Senator for Education, Astrid-Sabine Busse (SPD), held out the prospect of them for the fourth calendar week last Monday.