Backstage Academy, the Wakefield-based higher educational facility in the live events industry, offered asymptomatic students PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests this week. Delivering greater efficacy then the LFD (Lateral Flow Device) test, the results will be received within days, and will provide a travel-safe window for students to return home to their families in time for Christmas.

PCR tests are used to directly detect the presence of an antigen, rather than the presence of the body’s immune response, or antibodies. By detecting viral RNA (the genetic information of the virus), which will be present in the body before antibodies form or symptoms of the disease are present, the tests can tell whether someone has the virus very early on.

As well as allowing students to return home for Christmas, the rollout will minimise the risk of spreading infection beyond the local area or Tier group.