Government scraps need for confirmatory PCR test after positive Lateral Flow result

PCR testing credit iStock/scaliger

From January 11 in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate immediately. They will not be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

This is a temporary measure while coronavirus (COVID-19) rates remain high across the UK.

Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Government says anyone who develops 1 of the 3 main COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed.

Since mid-December, 100,000 more PCR booking slots have been made available per day and capacity continues to be rapidly expanded, with delivery capacity doubled to 900,000 PCR and LFD test kits a day.

Anyone who receives a positive LFD test result should report their result on GOV.UK and must self-isolate but will not need to take a follow-up PCR test.

After reporting a positive LFD test result, people will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced.

There are a few exceptions to the revised approach.

People who are eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP) will still be asked to take a confirmatory PCR if they receive a positive LFD result, to enable them to access financial support.

People participating in research or surveillance programmes may still be asked to take a follow-up PCR test, according to the research or surveillance protocol.

Around one million people in England who are at particular risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 have been identified by the NHS as being potentially eligible for new treatments. They will be receiving a PCR test kit at home by mid-January to use if they develop symptoms or if they get a positive LFD result, as they may be eligible for new treatments if they receive a positive PCR result. This group should use these priority PCR tests when they have symptoms as it will enable prioritised laboratory handling.

Anyone who receives 2 negative LFD results, 24 hours apart, on days 6 and 7, can then leave isolation.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid said:”As Omicron cases continue to rise the demand for tests has grown rapidly across the globe. We’re putting plans in place to manage the demand for PCR tests in the UK so we can ensure that those who most need tests can continue to access them.”

People can order a PCR test on GOV.UK or by phoning 119.

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced the government will provide 100,000 critical workers in England with free lateral flow tests to help keep essential services and supply chains running.

Critical workers will be able to take a test on every working day and the provision of precautionary testing will be for an initial 5 weeks. Roll-out will start from Monday, January 10.


  1. Amazing anybody is actually signing up for this-basically made a prisoner in your own home, when the tests they are using are highly unreliable & you could well be clear.

    • You can’t even tell them Steve. First they need to understand themselves and why they are actually enjoying having theirs and other people lives restricted. Second they need to understand that they have had 3 jabs now from untrusted companies with a history of killing tens of thousands in the name of profit. They can’t turn back time. What’s done is done. They are still scared of covid, but to stop blaming the unvaccinated for it

      • I don’t think Mark should assume that people “are actually enjoying” the current situation, nor that most people are “scared of Covid”. It would be more accurate to say that most people are anxious about Covid, and accept that it is sensible to take precautions such as keeping away from crowds, wearing adequate face-coverings at times and having vaccinations against the disease.

    • I know of several people who are testing positive and having very mild or no symptoms, so are still doing whatever they want, NOT that I condone their behavior.

      Me personally? IF I caught it (again) and didn’t feel particularly bad, I would avoid shops, restaurants and people’s homes etc, BUT I’d carry on going for daily strolls in the quiet countryside and coastal areas near where I live.

      I’m certainly not scared of the rising cases. Today I went to a busy restaurant (Margate’s Buoy and Oyster, highly recommended!) travelling by bus each way, and tomorrow I’m going on a train journey and shopping trip. I suggest others get on with their normal lives too.

      • Yes, a very sensible approach. With the symptoms so mild & it being so infectious- 1 in 15 in the UK was it last week that had it-realistically we are pretty much all going to get it & spread it-jabbed or not & no matter how careful you are.

  2. Fact: LFTs will show a positive response if you are carrying a viral load. If the test shows positive, you’ve most likely got covid.
    On the other hand, a negative test doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily clear.

    Fact: There are currently no restrictions on our lifestyles, unless we have covid.

    Fact: the number of people sick with covid is huge, and is bringing NHS hospitals in many regions to the point of collapse.
    You can do your bit to help by being a responsible citizen, and thinking of others.

    Fact: coronavirus vaccinations (and there have been almost 100M in the UK alone) have saved many many lives and serious illness. None of the vaccines used in the UK comes from an “untrusted” company. The JCVI would not approve untrustworthy vaccines.

    • Andrew: denying the drugs companies involved in these experimental gene therapy jabs are untrusted is simply not true. On Pfizer on the biggest ever US crime fine: “Pfizer, the world’s largest drugs company, has been hit with the biggest criminal fine in US history as part of a $2.3bn settlement with federal prosecutors for mispromoting medicines and for paying kickbacks to compliant doctors.

      In a blow to its reputation in the eyes of doctors and patients, Pfizer pleaded guilty to misbranding the painkiller Bextra, withdrawn from the market in 2004, by promoting the drug for uses that were not approved by medical regulators.

      The New York-based company also settled civil allegations concerning improper payments to doctors who prescribed nine other pharmaceutical products, although it continues to deny these charges.

      Under an out-of-court deal with the US department of justice, a Pfizer subsidiary, Pharmacia & Upjohn, is paying a criminal fine of $1.3bn (nearly £800m), a record in American judicial history.

      Pfizer is also paying $1bn in civil settlements to Medicare, Medicaid and other government health insurance schemes to reimburse improper prescriptions.

      Prosecutors said the payments reflected the “size and seriousness” of Pfizer’s infringements. Tom Perrelli, the associate attorney general, said it was a victory for the public over “those who seek to earn a profit through fraud”. (Guardian).

      And ABC US:

      The official reporting systems globally (such as the Yellow Card system) via the MHRA, EMA and CDC etc. show an unprecedented number of serious side effects and deaths from the jabs, which would normally result in immediate withdrawal of these. The JCVI did not advise jabbing young people. That got over-ruled in a most dubious way, and will no doubt feature in future legal trials.

    • Fact-yes, as said they are pretty much useless & nobody needs to be testing for the super mild Omicron-that is why everything is in such a mess.

      Fact-no restrictions? You have to wear a mask to go into shops or travel. You have to jump through hoops to go to a nightclub-no freedom to just walk in. In Wales you will be prosecuted if you go to work-while being encouraged to get drunk in the pub, these rules are totally illogical-like having to wear a mask while seated in church, but then you take them up while singing with your saliva flying everywhere. Lockdowns are lockdowns-whether you have it or not.

      Fact-the numbers sick with Covid are not huge. The majority have nothing more than a runny nose/sore throat-it is the insistence of the NHS in sending them all home whenever they test positive for a week that is causing the problem. Most of those in there would have either been there anyway due to Norovirus/winter bugs, pneumonia or have gone in with other issues & then tested positive. Once again-we know these account for around a third of people in hospital with Covid.

      Fact-you have no idea about these vaccines because they were rushed through, the results have not been published & peer reviewed & Pfizer are in conjunction with the FDA trying to block the full release of their data on them until 2076, while also having been indemnified by the UK government for damages resulting from serious side effects.

  3. It’s a fact that people are calling for lockdowns and its also a fact that unvaccinated people are having their life impeded.

    If you think pfizer are a trusted company you really need to do your research. I’m 1999 they released a tablet that supposedly treat arthritis. It had no effect in treating arthritis, but killed between 60,000 and 80,000 of the 25m people who took it between 1999 and 2004. More Americans than the vietnarm war. They told many lies in them 5 years and nobody saw prison sentences. Ignored the fact there was cardio arrests being suffered during testing. Just like there has been during the early stages of this untested vaccine. The heart attacks and clots are buried by the media who don’t want it to be heard.

    Due to Americas favourable laws for pharmaceuticals Pfizer have the ability to do their own analysis of a release and release the analysis they choose.

    The nhs is on the verge of collapse every year. If its so on the verge of collapse then don’t sack up to 100k of our supposed NHS ‘heroes’ who don’t want the vaccine

    I think

    • The D4C link in turn links to the New England Joural of medicine (uncensored, freely available). It didn’t take long to find these:
      “NVX-CoV2373 was safe and effective for the prevention of Covid-19. ”
      “Across the age groups studied, rates of confirmed Covid-19 and severe illness were substantially lower among participants who received a booster dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine than among those who did not.”

  4. The sooner it was made mandatory for everyone to be vaccinated the better, and I would like to see it made illegal for anyone to spout anti vaccination propaganda, because this is a killer disease! Its not ‘Flu, and its not the Common Cold, it kills, as over 500 people in Thanet have found out, and 150,000 nationally! Long Covid is ruining people’s lives too, often of perfectly young, fit people, its a fact, so don’t be a moron, get vaccinated/boostered!

    • Don’t be fooled by the numbers and honestly dumpton I don’t think anyone is taking anything you say seriously anymore. Your views belong in 1930s Germany or pre 90s Russia. Not in a free western world

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