In Scotland and Wales from 6th January 2022
In England from 11th January 2022
People with no symptoms but who test positive with a lateral flow test (LFT) device (i.e. are asymptomatic) will no longer be required to have a confirmatory PCR test. However, these people are now required to self-isolate immediately for seven days without the PCR test being conducted. Then, provided they continue to have no symptoms and also provide a negative LFT test on day 6 and 7 they should then be able to go back to their lives / work if employed. It is important that two negative tests occur prior to going back out into the world so if the test on day six is still positive then more than seven days isolation will be required and the test should be repeated on day 7/8, 8/9 onwards until two negative tests occur.
It is also very important that the results of these LFT’s are given to the government via the GOV.UK website regardless of whether the test is positive or negative, within 24 hours, so that the authorities can still plot the spread of the disease and spot new outbreaks as they occur.
Furthermore, the person making the report can seek advice if the test was positive so that they can make the correct choices regarding their required actions. Hopefully these changes will reduce the amount of time a person might need to isolate for, as waiting for the result of the PCR test to come back prior to starting their confinement / isolation, in some cases led to more than 14 days in isolation.
It will also free up much needed capacity in laboratories who need to manage their resources whilst the reduced number of CPR tests for those who need to have them are conducted and processed. Remember if a person is fully vaccinated or under 18 and 6 months and a close-contact tests positive then they need only conduct daily LFT for 7 days to check their COVID status, not self-isolate, unless they test positive themselves at which point self-isolation becomes a necessity.
Any close contact who is not fully vaccinated (three doses) will still have to self-isolate for the 10 days and take a PCR test. People who have symptoms should isolate immediately and organise for a PCR test.
People who are eligible for the £500 test and trace support payment will still need to have a PCR test conducted to confirm their status and eligibility for the support. People who are participating in research or surveillance programmes, or who are at risk of becoming seriously ill, or who have been identified as potentially eligible for new treatments will also still need to undertake PCR tests.
If this alert has raised questions or you need to discuss any other health & safety related issue do not hesitate to contact your health & safety consultant or the central office for advice / assistance