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School children have been faking Covid tests with soft drinks to get time off school

It was always going to happen…

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@liu11 / Unsplash & @anniespratt / Unsplash

Long gone are the days of kids putting hot water bottles under their pillows to feint a temperature; the children of today are apparently taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to get a few days off school. 

Yep, it turns out that crafty UK school children have found a way to ‘fake’ a negative Covid test in a bid to get ten days off school.

The phenomenon came to the attention of parents and teachers via TikTok (because where else?), when the app was suddenly teeming with children and teenagers showing off their handiwork. 

Solen Feyissa / Unsplash

Footage of young people applying various liquids to lateral flow tests have racked up millions of views on the platform, with many users offering their own methods and suggestions.

Coca Cola and fresh orange juice seem to be the most popular choices, though apple juice and vinegar have also been used frequently to get a positive test result.

And in case you’re wondering, the results aren’t a consequence of the drinks containing the virus – it seems to be thanks to the acidity.

@anniespratt / Unsplash

Professor Andrea Sella of University College London said the discovery was not at all surprising, as per The Guardian.

She said: “If someone deliberately mucks up the protocol then of course you’ll get a duff result. But I would add that it’s not a ‘false positive’ in the true sense. Because false positives are ones that take place in spite of adherence to the protocol.”

On the other hand, Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, simply slammed the actions as ‘unhelpful’, and strongly discouraged the behaviour.

@anniespratt / Unsplash

He said: “We are sure this involves a very small minority of pupils, and that for the most part the tests are used correctly.

“However, we would urge parents to ensure that tests are not being misused, and we would suggest to pupils who are interested in chemical reactions that the best place to learn about them is in chemistry lessons in school.”

If a student tests positive, they and the rest of their household has to isolate for ten days, as does anyone in their ‘bubble’ at school.

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Sir David Amess MP has died after stabbing incident, police say

JUST IN…

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Sir David Amess / Twitter & Richard Townshend

A Conservative MP has died after being stabbed multiple times in his constituency.

Sir David Amess was attacked during an incident at his constituency surgery, Sky News reported earlier this afternoon.

According to police, he was treated by emergency services but died at the scene.

Sir David represents Southend West in Essex, and was reportedly attacked at the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

According to Sky News, a man walked into his constituency surgery and stabbed the MP multiple times.

He received treatment at the scene for his injuries, with emergency services at the scene.

The road surrounding the location has been closed off while the incident is dealt with. 

Police said in a statement: “A man has been arrested on suspicion murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh-on-Sea.

“We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today (Friday 15 October).

“We attended and found a man injured.

“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.

“A 25 year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.

“He is currently in custody.

“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”

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Conservative MP Sir David Amess stabbed multiple times in ‘major incident’

JUST IN…

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Richard Townshend

According to reports this afternoon, a Conservative MP has been stabbed multiple times in his constituency.

Sir David Amess was attacked during an incident at his constituency surgery, Sky News reports.

Sir David represents Southend West in Essex, and was reportedly attacked at the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

According to Sky News, a man walked into his constituency surgery and stabbed the MP multiple times.

The latest updates suggest he has been receiving treatment at the scene for his injuries, and police are reportedly at the scene.

The road surrounding the location has been closed off while the incident is dealt with.

Essex Police have confirmed a man has now been arrested. 

They wrote on Twitter: “A man’s been arrested following an incident in Leigh-on-Sea.

“We were called to reports of a stabbing in Eastwood Rd North shortly after 12.05pm.

“A man was arrested shortly after & we’re not looking for anyone else.

“We’ll bring you more info when we have it.”

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The Manchester Christmas Markets is moving to Piccadilly Gardens this year

Big changes for the Christmas Markets this year…

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Manchester City Council & David Dixon / Geograph

Manchester’s beloved Christmas Markets are making a grand return to the city this year, but its main hub will be found in a different location.

While the heart of the markets is usually centered around Albert Square, ongoing renovations to the Town Hall have forced them to move to Piccadilly Gardens, the council have confirmed today.

The area will be transformed into the ‘Winter Gardens’, with all the usual yuletide bars, market stalls and food huts.

Plans for the Winter Gardens also include a one-way system and separate entrances and exits, as well as a strict limit on visitors to limit the spread of Covid-19.

David Dixon / Geograph

They are also adding a fully accessible toilet to make the Winter Garden as inclusive as possible.

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “It’s wonderful to welcome back our world-famous Christmas Markets and the addition of the Winter Gardens for the very first time.

“Manchester has been the capital of Christmas for twenty-two years since the very first Christmas Market arrived in the UK in 1999 and we know it was a huge disappointment that we had to scale back our celebrations last year.

“We’re making up for lost time this year and I can’t wait to see the transformation in the city centre into the festive wonderland we know and love.”

@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

Last year, in what would have been the markets’ twenty-first birthday, the festivities were cancelled as a result of the pandemic, much to the dismay of Mancunians all across the region.

At the time, Councillor Karney said that even the proposed smaller markets didn’t meet public health approval, adding that the council ‘could never take any risks’ with people’s wellbeing.

He said: “We’ve cancelled everything. It’s not met our commercial and public health tests, so the three markets in those locations have been cancelled, and won’t take place. It was a million miles from the traditional Christmas Markets, which obviously people would have been very anxious about.”

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