If you get a positive result to a symptom-free test (lateral flow), you MUST self-isolate for 10 days. We are asking people to follow up a positive lateral flow test with a PCR* test at an NHS symptoms test centre as this test is processed in a lab which will help us to detect any new variants and their spread.
Please note - If you take this follow up PCR test within two days of the lateral flow test and the result is negative, you no longer need to self-isolate and contact tracing will stop.
From Monday 16 August, if you are double jabbed* or aged under 18, you will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, you are advised to take a PCR test (at an NHS test centre) as soon as possible to check if you have the virus and for variants of concern – you are not required to self-isolate while you wait for the results of the PCR test.
*Double vaccinated adults who are close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate from 16 August, as long as they received their final dose of an MHRA-approved vaccine in the UK vaccination programme at least 14 days prior to contact with a positive case.
See www.gov.uk/coronavirus for more advice.
Please also see our guide to self-isolation, help available, things to think about and important numbers for support and advice –
*PCR - Polymerase Chain Reaction – the tests used by the NHS at the COVID symptoms test centres.