Covid-19 Guidelines - Liver bird

Changes to Covid-19 Self-Isolation and Testing

Self-isolation remains 10 days, but in some circumstances it is possible to shorten the isolation period if two successive negative rapid lateral flow tests (LFTs) are taken.

From today, Monday 17 January, if no high temperature is present, people can start testing with LFTs from day five. Two successive negative test results, taken 24 hours apart, will be needed to end self-isolation early.

People are reminded that day zero is the first day they had symptoms or first tested positive with a LFT.

The earliest people can stop isolating is at the start of day six, but only if they’ve have had a negative LFT on day five and another negative result on day six.

If people continue to test positive with an LFT after day five and day six, they must continue to stay at home until they have had two consecutive negative tests, 24 hours apart, or until they have completed day 10 of isolation.

Changes to PCR Testing

From Tuesday 11 January 2022 people in England who receive a positive rapid lateral flow test (LFT) result for coronavirus and do not have any symptoms will no longer need to take a follow up PCR test.

With Covid-19 rates remaining high, Government advisors are very confident that those testing positive with a LFT do have the virus, so will no longer need to take a follow-up PCR test to confirm, but must self-isolate immediately and report their result online.

It is important that people report their LFT results– whether they are positive or negative – so spread can be monitored and the correct advice given to close contacts.

This is a temporary measure while rates of coronavirus remain high across the UK, meaning people can act quickly – helping stop transmission.

It also means PCR tests are available for those who need them the most.

There are exemptions, and some people will still need to take a PCR, including those who:

  • Want to apply for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP)
  • Are participating in research programmes
  • Have received a positive Day 2 LFT after travelling to the UK
  • Have been sent a home PCR kit and identified as someone at risk of getting seriously ill

People with symptoms should always take a PCR test – as LFTs are designed to be taken by people without symptoms.

Changes to self-Isolation rules

Self-isolation is for 10 days but in some circumstances it is possible to shorten the isolation period if two successive negative LFTs are taken.

If no symptoms are present, people can now test from day six – and if both LFTs are negative and have been taken at least 24 hours apart, isolation can then be shortened.

Rapid Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs)

Home test kits can be ordered online or collected from community test centres, local pharmacies and from RRVs. Full details can be found on

PCR Home Test Kits

Around one million people in England who are at risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 are being sent a PCR kit to use at home.

These are to be used if they develop symptoms – or if they get a positive LFT result – as they may be eligible for new treatments if they receive a positive PCR result.

Testing and Travel

People who qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England will no longer have to take a Covid-19 test before travelling. They will not need to quarantine on arrival but will need to take a day two test – which can be an LFT or PCR.

Rules for the latest travel guidance can be found on the GOV.UK website.

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