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5 issues to learn about current modifications to testing


The large improve in COVID-19 instances throughout the nation in current weeks has proven that the pandemic just isn’t over and highlighted that we should preserve working collectively to gradual the unfold of the virus, shield others and scale back strain on the NHS.

Common testing, and self-isolating when wanted, is crucial to cut back COVID-19 transmission and preserve you and the individuals round you protected.

Because the pandemic progresses, it’s vital that we preserve reviewing all out there knowledge and proof and make coverage modifications on the proper time.

With infections on the highest stage they’ve been because the begin of the pandemic and demand for exams very excessive, we should use LFD and PCR exams the place they’ve essentially the most impression; lowering the unfold of COVID-19 and defending essentially the most weak.

From 11 January, we’ve made an vital non permanent change to COVID-19 testing; When you obtain a optimistic speedy lateral movement check end result, you now don’t have to take a PCR check to substantiate your optimistic end result.

1.The timing is true to implement a short lived change to testing

Fast lateral movement exams are an vital method of permitting individuals who don’t have COVID-19 signs to search out out if they’re contaminated.

Previous to 11 January individuals who examined optimistic utilizing a lateral movement check had been requested to take a PCR check to substantiate the end result, however we now have a transparent motive to briefly droop the necessity for this comply with up PCR.

Suspending comply with up PCRs is a tried and examined measure. We efficiently suspended them final January (2021) and reintroduced them in March when case numbers dropped once more.

Lateral movement exams have an estimated specificity of at the very least 99.97%, which implies that fewer than 3 in each 10,000 exams will end in a false optimistic.

Charges of COVID-19 are at present very excessive and with this excessive prevalence it is extremely seemingly {that a} optimistic speedy lateral movement check means you do have COVID-19.

Please keep in mind that for those who check optimistic utilizing a speedy lateral movement check you need to self-isolate instantly, and report your check outcomes, whether or not they’re optimistic or unfavorable.

Reporting your check outcomes is a fast and simple course of and permits us to grasp the variety of instances of COVID-19 within the nation and ensures individuals who check optimistic are given the suitable well being recommendation.

2.PCR exams are nonetheless important for individuals with signs

We’re not discouraging individuals who want them to get a PCR check. When you develop any of the primary signs of COVID-19 (a excessive temperature, a brand new, steady cough otherwise you’ve misplaced your sense of scent or style or they’ve modified) you need to nonetheless get a PCR check instantly, somewhat than a speedy lateral movement check.

In case you have obtained a optimistic lateral movement check end result however don’t have any signs, then develop signs while you’re isolating, it isn’t mandatory to substantiate your optimistic end result with a comply with up PCR. Your optimistic lateral movement check end result means it is extremely seemingly you will have the virus.

But when your signs are getting worse and you’re involved you need to search medical consideration.

3.There are some conditions the place a comply with up PCR check remains to be required

Individuals who have a optimistic speedy lateral movement check end result ought to solely have a follow-up PCR check if:

  • they want to declare the Take a look at and Hint Assist Cost
  • they’ve a well being situation which means they could be appropriate for brand spanking new coronavirus (COVID-19) remedies. They’ll have obtained a letter from the NHS informing them of this and will probably be given PCR kits to make use of each time they’ve signs
  • they’re taking LFD exams as a part of analysis or surveillance programmes, and the programme asks them to take action
  • they’ve a optimistic day 2 LFD check after arriving in England

4.With COVID-19 at document ranges, boosting testing capability and utilizing various kinds of check properly is essential

We proceed to increase our testing capability and urge anybody who must entry both speedy lateral movement exams, or a PCR check, to maintain checking GOV.UK commonly.

The UK’s testing programme is the most important in Europe with over 1.7bn LFD’s distributed because the begin of the pandemic and supply capability elevated to 7m LFDs per day.

100,000 extra PCR reserving slots have been made out there per day since mid-December and capability continues to be expanded.

However we should proceed to make use of LFD and PCR exams the place they’ve essentially the most impression in lowering the unfold of COVID-19 and defending essentially the most weak.

5.Testing and self-isolation are important, however there are different vital methods to gradual the unfold of the virus too

Don’t neglect that there are a selection of measures that may shield you and others round you from COVID-19:

  • be sure you’ve obtained your first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and ebook your booster when you find yourself eligible
  • put on a well-fitting face overlaying the place you’re required to by legislation and in crowded or enclosed locations
  • for those who socialise indoors, let recent air in as a lot as doable. Assembly outdoor is safer
  • wash your palms commonly


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