Covid test rule change means people with positive lateral flow result will not need PCR if asymptomatic

Anyone who tests positive on a lateral flow device in England will no longer need to get a follow-up PCR result if they do not have symptoms, the UK Health Security Agency has announced.

The suspension of confirmatory PCR tests has been introduced because prevalence of covid cases due to Omicron is so high, exacerbating the risk of false negatives.

Government experts want people to self-isolate for the required seven days as soon as they get a positive LFT result, and hope the changes will help bring down transmission.

People who test positive will still be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Anyone with the classic covid symptoms should still seek a PCR test.

The suspension will be in place until prevalence of covid drops below 1 per cent. It is currently at 4 per cent.