Watch: COVID deniers shout ‘don’t get tested’ at school pupils
This is the shocking moment a group of protesters yelled at staff and pupils at a school in Liverpool to not get tested for coronavirus.
The video shows the group driving around Calderstones School shouting at pupils through megaphones before harassing the school's headteacher and members of the armed forces who were helping out on site.
Calderstones is one of the schools in the city where the military is operating a voluntary COVID-19 testing facility as part of the city-wide mass testing operation.
The school and the city council have made it clear no child will be forced to take a test and can only do so with the permission of a parent or carer.
So far around 90% of parents at Calderstones have consented to their children being tested on site.
The man filming the video can be heard saying: ”Liverpool is the worst place in the world right now", before stating: "Anybody who believes this COVID lie, this COVID fraud..."
Two women in the car can be seen shouting at children entering the school through a megaphone, telling them not to get tested or they will be “locked down for Christmas”.
At one point, one of the group tells the headteacher: “If anything happens to these children getting tested for COVID-19 – absolute disgrace, this will be going further."
The behaviour of the group has been widely condemned by local people, city leaders and parents and pupils at the school.
Angela Collinson, a parent of a Calderstones pupil, said: "I am angered by the behaviour of these people, who clearly have no connection to Calderstones School or any children who attend.
"The parents were emailed to ask them to fill in a consent form if they wanted their child to be tested.
"The headteacher and all the teachers have been absolutely brilliant during this incredibly difficult time and communicate with parents regularly.
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"These idiots are in fact that and like someone pointed out, if they had a child who needed an emergency operation but had to have a COVID test before proceeding, would they say no and spout their conspiracy theory rhetoric? I'm fuming."
Calderstones pupil Eva Breslin added: “Ignorant, selfish people deciding to shout at kids.
"People are dying. As a Caldies student I can say no one is forced to take the test, but most people have decided that trying to stop the spread of a virus and save lives is the right choice.”
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson described the group's behaviour as “sickening and intimidating” and said he hoped the police would take action.
23,170 have been tested for COVID-19 since 12.00pm Friday to 12.00pm today a great response 👏 0.7% tested positive. Thank you to those who have so far participated &for those who have booked&are still to get the test. Infection rates are now at 300 per 100,000 which is promising
— Joe Anderson (@mayor_anderson) November 9, 2020
He added: "They are harassing school staff, intimidating and shouting at kids, their behaviour is totally unforgivable and I would like to see the police respond.
"No children are being forced to have a test, they will only have one if their parents or carers give consent – no one in Liverpool is being forced to have a test.”
Merseyside Police said they were “aware” of the video, adding: “Officers investigating a social media video of a car outside Calderstones school on Monday, 9 November, have now identified the vehicle involved and are currently investigating any road traffic or other offences.”
Liverpool was chosen for a mass testing trial due to it being under tough restrictions because of high rates of coronavirus.
More than 23,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 so far in the trial, with 154 testing positive.
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