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'Ninja tests': What are Austria's coronavirus sticker book tests for children?

Emma Midgley
Emma Midgley - [email protected]
'Ninja tests': What are Austria's coronavirus sticker book tests for children?
Austria's 'Ninja Tests' are a sticker-book record for children to show they have been tested. Photo courtesy Austrian Ministry of Education.

Austria has rolled out a 'playful' sticker book to encourage children to get tested. Here's what you need to know.

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Austria is due to open up on May 19th with a “green pass” which will require people to show proof they have tested negative for Covid 19, recovered from an infection or been vaccinated to gain access to restaurants and events.

For children, there is a similar plan - but one which is a little more fun.

Paper, plastic or digital: How will Austria’s coronavirus immunity card work?

Known as the 'Covid Ninja' sticker book, it lets kids do certain things provided they have been tested. 

Here's what you need to know. 

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What is the Covid Ninja sticker book?

Children in Austria are already tested for the coronavirus three times a week at school before starting lessons.

Now they will be able to show they have been tested and gain access to restaurants, cafes, sports facilities and events with a special Covid Ninja sticker book, which will leave a space every week for three negative test “stars”. 

The stickers will remain valid for 48 hours, meaning after children have tested negative for the coronavirus at school they will not have  to test again within this period. 

A pilot project will also be rolled out in Vienna involving more sensitive PCR testing for school children rather than antigen testing.

If successful, PCR testing in schools will be done throughout Austria. In the interim, more sensitive antigen tests will be used. 

"We're making it easy, almost playful (for kids to get tested)" said Education Minister Heinz Faßmann at a press conference on Wednesday. 

The scheme, which Austrian media are comparing to Panini collector stickers, uses a small sheet of paper decorated with a cartoon ninja. 

There is space for three stickers a week - one for each test - while the piece of paper is small enough to be carried in a wallet. 

Once the test has been carried out, the sticker can be put on the paper by the student or the teacher. 

An example can be found at the end of the page. 

The number of infections is low in schools, the APA agency reports. The positive rate for students is around 0.08 percent.

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