Big change on what you have to do after a positive lateral flow test

By Isobel Frodsham, PA & Matt Jackson

A big change is coming on what you have to do if you test positive for coronavirus on a lateral flow test.

Currently anyone who tests positive on one of the rapid turnaround tests is told to immediately book a PCR test to confirm the result.

But the UK Health Security Agency - formerly Public Health England - has confirmed the move will come in force today (January 11).

Now anyone who tests positive on a lateral flow device (LFD) is being told to isolate immediately, without the need of a PCR for confirmation.

The UKHSA said it is a temporary measure while Covid-19 rates remain high across the UK.

UKHSA chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said: “This is a tried and tested approach. With Covid cases high, we can confidently say lateral flow tests can be used to indicate Covid-19 without the need for PCR confirmation.

“If you test positive on an LFD, you should self-isolate immediately and register your result to allow contact tracing to take place.

“It also remains really important that anyone experiencing Covid-19 symptoms self-isolates and takes a PCR test via gov.uk, or by phoning 119.

“I’m really grateful to the public and all of our critical workers who continue to test regularly and self-isolate when necessary, along with other practical and important behaviours to limit transmission of the virus, as this is the most effective way of stopping the spread of infection and keeping our friends, families and communities safe.”

Exceptions to the new rules include people who want to claim the Test and Trace Support Payment, those who are taking lateral flow tests as part of research and those who have a positive day 2 test result after they arrive in England.

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