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A new government campaign urging students in England to have twice-weekly Covid tests for “a more normal year” at school and college has been labelled as naive by school union leaders.

The campaign includes an Olympic gold medallist, the 18-year-old swimmer Matt Richards, telling students that regular testing allowed him to compete at Tokyo and will allow them to “get back to the things you love, like competitive sports and school matches”.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, said students could “look forward to a more normal year” when they return. The government has dropped most of the restrictions imposed last year such as bubbles, social distancing and masks.

But Nick Brook, the deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “It would be naive to assume that things will be completely back to normal in September.

“Scientists are already predicting that Covid cases are likely to increase further when schools reopen and sadly we know that further disruption is inevitable.”

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