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Parents and childcare support bubbles reminded to get tested now schools are back!

19 April 2021

With children now returning to schools following the Easter holidays, we are urging local parents and childcare support bubbles to remember to follow the guidance, and take a COVID-19 test twice a week.

Since the start of the pandemic, Richmond's schools and students have done a fantastic job adapting to COVID secure measures and working hard to make sure it doesn’t impact learning. Getting children back safely this term will minimise the longer-term impact of the pandemic on their education, wellbeing and wider development.

Richmond upon Thames is now in a much stronger position than we were in winter, but the situation remains delicate and while the virus is still spreading in the Capital we all still need to follow public health advice.

Parents and those in childcare support bubbles are asked to remember to keep their distance from other parents when dropping children to school. Remember that around one in three people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms and can still pass it on to other people.

Rapid testing also remains crucial to keep our borough’s schools and colleges safe. Regular testing is helping to find and isolate cases, stopping outbreaks before they develop.

Ian Dodds, Director for Children’s Services from Richmond Council, said:

"Our schools are working really hard to make sure that children and staff stay safe. But parents need to also do their bit.

"Please support school staff and remember to follow the rules. Parent are asked to perhaps wear a face covering if waiting at the school gates, keep your distance from others, and importantly - take a COVID-19 test twice a week."

To make it as easy as possible for local people to access these tests, there are several locations in Richmond upon Thames where tests can be conducted under supervision or collected and taken home.

Free, supervised, rapid lateral flow COVID-19 testing is available on weekdays from 7.30am to 4pm at the Sheen Lane Centre, and from 10am to 2pm on weekends. Bookings can be made in advance, and walk-in appointments are available from 12 noon every day.

In addition, five pharmacies in Twickenham, Barnes, Ham and Teddington, are also providing free supervised tests. Full details available online and again, please book in advance.

There are several places across the borough that are offering a free 'Community Collect' service - providing take-home testing kits. This includes the Sheen Lane Centre, Twickenham Civic Centre and other locations including selected pharmacies. Find the nearest collection point to you.

You can also collect from St Mary’s University Broom Road sports campus in Teddington every day from 2.30 to 8pm.

And finally, for people who are unable to access tests through their employer, one of the local test sites, or a collection point, you can order a box of free tests online or through 119, which will be delivered to your home.


  • Coronavirus is still spreading in London, let's make sure the next step we take is forward, not back
  • The basic measures of Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air are still important to keep Richmond safe
  • Wash your hands regularly and make the most of hand sanitiser stations at buildings and public spaces if you need to be out
  • Always wear a face covering where rules apply, particularly on public transport
  • Meet with others outside if you don’t live with them and stay two metres apart where possible. Sticking to the rule of six or two households will allow us to take this next step carefully
  • Get fresh air into your home and workplace and open windows on public transport where possible. Opening windows regularly can help remove air that contains virus particles and prevent the spread of coronavirus
  • Get tested regularly - anyone can get tested for free, symptoms or no symptoms. If you do have symptoms you must still self-isolate immediately and book a test as quickly as possible
  • Get your vaccine when it is your turn

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Up to: April 2021

Updated: 19 April 2021