What’s The Deal With PCR And Lateral Flow Testing Now?

Omicron cases are now up to more than 200,000 in the UK, meaning the burden on the NHS could be severe.

Not only are there more positive Covid patients, current guidelines also mean nurses and doctors have to also isolate if they test positive, putting more stress on the health service.

But the government is expected to announce changes to the rules regarding Covid testing, which could help some staff get back to the workplace, sooner.

Under these proposed changes, you would not need to do a PCR test to confirm a positive Covid case. If you test positive on a lateral flow test (LFT), you would be advised to take that as an official sign of a positive result, instead of waiting for a PCR test, and isolate immediately.

This means that if you’re asymptomatic (not showing any symptoms), your isolation period would be shorter, as you could isolate from the day your LFT showed you were positive, instead of the day you got a positive PCR test (which can take a few days).

Anyone without any symptoms can leave isolation on day seven if they start testing negative on LFTs on day six and seven, as per government guidelines.

A government source told PA Media the change was being discussed but details were “still being finalised”.

It follows the implementation of Plan B restrictions in England response to the risks of the Omicron variant.

This means face coverings are required by law in most indoor settings, office workers who can work from home should do so, and certain venues and events are required by law to check that all adults are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or have an exemption.



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