PCR tests scrapped for asymptomatic positives and pre-departure to England

PCR tests scrapped for asymptomatic positives and pre-departure to England

From 11th January 2022, follow-up PCR tests are no longer required for asymptomatic people who have tested positive in a lateral flow test.

The change will apply only to those in England taking routine lateral flow tests who do not have any symptoms of coronavirus, and if their lateral flow test is positive, they must still report their result on gov.uk and self-isolate for the minimum seven days. After reporting a positive LFD test result, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced.

Anyone who tests positive will be able to leave self-isolation seven days after the date of their initial positive test if they receive two negative lateral flow test results, 24 hours apart, on days six and seven.

People with any of the three main Covid symptoms, which are a high temperature, persistent cough and a loss or change to sense of smell or taste, must self-isolate and still take a PCR test after a positive lateral flow, and await the results.

There are a small number of exceptions to the change, including people eligible for the £500 test and trace support payment, people participating in research and surveillance programmes, and the 1 million people at risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus who have been contacted by the NHS.

The change will be reviewed when the proportion of people with the virus in England drops below 1%.

From 04:00 on Friday 7th January 2022, pre-departure travel Covid tests to enter England from overseas will be scrapped.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on 5th January 2022 that he is lifting the requirement to self-isolate on arrival in England until receiving a negative PCR test result.

Instead people can take a lateral flow test on day two – and if it’s positive a further PCR test will be needed to identify any new variants, plus isolation as normal. This is the same system as it was in force in October 2021.

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