January 5, 2022 2.30 pm

Positive lateral flow COVID tests will no longer need extra PCR confirmation

Changes coming in from January 11

People who test positive for COVID, but who have no symptoms, will no longer need to confirm their status with a PCR test under the latest government measures.

The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed the change will come in across England only from January 11.

Currently anyone who has a positive Lateral Flow Test must get a confirmatory PCR test while isolating.

People will still need to self-isolate for at least seven days — with negative LFT tests on the sixth and seventh day for shorter quarantine period.

PCR tests will still be available should people want them, but will no longer be mandatory.

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

It is understood the change has been agreed due to confidence in the accuracy of lateral flow tests.

It follows a number of weeks over the Christmas period where people have struggled to get hold of LFTs or book PCR tests due to the number needing them.

Bosses say more than 350 million tests have been made available for January and February — triple the previous number.

The latest COVID figures showed 218,724 new cases were recorded in the UK on Tuesday.

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