PCR test no longer needed in England for people who test positive with lateral flow

Asymptomatic people who test positive with a lateral flow test will no longer require confirmation

A positive lateral flow test result. PA

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People in England who produce a positive lateral flow test result will no longer need to take a PCR test to confirm it.

From January 11, asymptomatic people who test positive will no longer need to confirm it with the more accurate test.

The move, announced last week by the UK Health Security Agency, is to free up capacity in laboratories for PCR tests for those who have Covid-19 symptoms.

People who receive a positive result on a lateral flow device will be required to go into isolation immediately.

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

“This is a tried and tested approach," agency chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said.

"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 behaviour to limit transmission of the virus.

"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.

Updated: January 11th 2022, 8:33 AM