Fact check: Claim that children can be taken away for Covid test without parental consent in the UK is FALSE

By Mounika Dasari  Published on  16 Aug 2020 8:11 AM GMT
Fact check: Claim that children can be taken away for Covid test without parental consent in the UK is FALSE

Hyderabad: A lengthy post on Facebook claims that the Coronavirus Act in the UK has permission to take out the children of the school to be tested for the Coronavirus without their parents' or caretakers' permission or knowledge and detained for 14 days if suspected of having Covid-19. This post notched 72,000 views and 9,700 reactions.

Several other users have posted the same version of the claim.

The archived version is here.

Fact Check:

Coronavirus Act, 2020 can be exercised only in the presence of a parent, caretaker or legal guardian. The claim is False.

Another user on Facebook posted the same post which notched 10,000 views with over 1,500 reactions.

Others claimed that only a teacher needs to be informed.

The post contains an original snapshot of a letter printed in March, 2020 by the Children's Commissioner to the Department for Education (DfE) about the Coronavirus Act.

The full Coronavirus Act, 2020, including Schedule 21 Paragraph 18, where the rules regarding children described are here.

Following the wrong version of posts on social media, the Children's Commissioner said it had sought further clarification. "The Department for Education DfE and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) had confirmed that a parent, caretaker or legal guardian has to be present for a screening to take place under these powers."

The departments said if self-isolation at home is not possible, the public health officer would need to seek alternatives. The government departments also said parents or guardians who feel any restrictions imposed on a child are unfair would have the right to appeal to a magistrate's court.

Hence, the claim is FALSE.

This fact check has been published as part of the Internews Information Saves Lives: Rapid Response Fund project to NewsMeter

Claim Review:Children can be taken away for Covid test without parental consent in the UK
Claimed By:social media users
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:social media
Claim Fact Check:False
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