People who test positive for Covid on lateral flow tests will no longer need to get confirmation of the result from a PCR test.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has announced that from January 11 people in England who do not have symptoms of Covid but test positive on lateral flows will not need to take a PCR.

The change in rules is in order to free up capacity in laboratories for those who are symptomatic and take PCR tests. 

Anyone who is positive on a lateral flow test will need to self-isolate immediately. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A member of NHS Test and Trace collects a sample from a member of the public at the drive-thru Covid-19 testing site (PA)A member of NHS Test and Trace collects a sample from a member of the public at the drive-thru Covid-19 testing site (PA)

The UKHSA said it is a temporary measure while Covid rates remain high across the UK.

UKHSA chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said: “This is a tried and tested approach. 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 behaviours to limit transmission of the virus, as 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 two test result after they arrive in England.