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COVID-19

Why Swiss school students are pouring orange juice on their Covid tests

School students in Switzerland have been using acidic drinks such as juice and cola to manipulate Covid tests.

Orange juice can be used to trick Covid tests. Photo by Mateusz Feliksik on Unsplash
Orange juice can be used to trick Covid tests. Photo by Mateusz Feliksik on Unsplash

The acid in the juice tricks the test into showing a positive result. Due to the acidity, the second strip on the test is triggered, meaning that it displays as if it was a positive test. 

Pregnancy tests can also be triggered in the same way. 

Just two or three drops of the liquid are enough to produce a positive test, with cola and other soft drinks also effective. 

The students then show the positive test to their teachers or their parents in order to get days off school. 

According to Swiss news outlet Tages Anzeiger, knowledge of the trick has spread through social media sites like TikTok. 

The trick was reported as early as summer of 2021 in the UK, but teachers and parents have only been made aware of the trick relatively recently. 

Teachers however told Swiss media that although knowledge had spread of the trick, they were confident most students would not use it “as they want to come to school”. 

Switzerland currently has a Covid measure in place which requires people to isolate if they test positive for the virus, although this is set to be phased out on April 1st. 

READ MORE: Switzerland to deactivate SwissCovid app

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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