Coronavirus latest - BRITS who test positive with a DIY lateral flow test will no longer need a follow-up PCR check under imminent rule changes.
Instead, they will be told to self-isolate for a week as long as they are negative on day six and seven.
Currently, people must have a confirmatory gold-standard PCR check after a positive lateral flow - and this is still the case until any new rules comes in.
But ministers are expected to ditch the requirement to help free up much-needed testing capacity - as thousands face long delays getting both PCR and lateral flows due to supply chain issues.
By eliminating the need to wait for a PCR test, Brits could see their isolation cut down by one or two days.
Nearly 31,000 confirmatory PCR checks were carried out in England alone on December 29.
Officials hope a change in testing rules will also reduce infection spread, as Brits will no longer leave home to get an extra test.
And there are concerns a tiny minority are being told they are wrongly negative by the follow-up PCR and then haplessly spreading the bug.
A health source said: “The overwhelming likelihood is that if you have a positive lateral flow, then you are infectious.
“So there is no need for an extra PCR check when testing is already under huge strain.”
But the rule change has been delayed by red tape around sickness payments.
Until the changes are officially brought in it's not clear which circumstances Brits might still be asked to get a PCR test in - but it's likely that if you have symptoms but a negative lateral flow, that is when a PCR would be called for.
As it stands, Brits who are self-isolating after catching coronavirus can apply for financial support as Covid rules are ramped up amid the Omicron variant spread.
No 10 yesterday refused to rule out rationing Covid tests in the coming weeks.
The Prime Minister's spokesman said: “We would obviously need to keep under review, as prevalence is incredibly high, what the right approach might be and we continue to take advice on whether that is necessary.”
People who test positive with DIY lateral flow kit will ‘no longer need follow-up PCR check’
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