The standards for COVID testing in the United Kingdom are changing to limit the number of persons being isolated unnecessarily and relieve supply strain. Because the Omicron variant continues to cause a high number of daily cases, frontline services are experiencing crippling personnel shortages due to employees being sick or isolating with the coronavirus.
Due to the more infectious form’s quick spread, demand for lateral flow (LFT) and PCR tests in the UK has skyrocketed, putting a strain on resources.
The government lowered the time of self-isolation for persons who tested negative on days six and seven before Christmas, and now further measures have been revealed.
If You Don’t Have Any Symptoms, You Won’t Need More PCR Testing
Someone who screened positive for coronavirus on a lateral flow test was formerly required to schedule a confirmatory PCR test, which you may do at home or at a testing centre.
Their isolation time would begin the day their symptoms appeared – or, if asymptomatic, the day they received their PCR test result.
However, due to the large number of individuals requesting testing, the system has been unable to keep up with demand, and many people have encountered delays in recieving results. For individuals who don’t have symptoms – around 40% of the time – this means longer days in isolation.
Those who test positive using an LFT but are asymptomatic do not need to take a follow-up PCR test UK starting on 11 January in England and 6 January in Scotland and Wales.
It implies that their isolation time may begin right away, and they can be released after seven days if their LFT tests are negative on days six and seven.
People with symptoms must still get a PCR test, but they may start their isolation period when their symptoms begin. If you are flying to the USA, you can book a UK PCR test here – https://flyusa2uk.com/
People Returning to England Must Take Pre-departure Tests.
The government restored pre-departure COVID testing for persons returning to England as Omicron spread fast in December. It included an LFT or PCR test two days before departure and a paid PCR test within the first two days of their return.
People returning from overseas will no longer need to take a pre-departure test or self-isolate after arriving in England at 4 a.m. on 7 January. Within two days of their return, they may do an LFT instead of a PCR.
All nations have been removed from England’s travel blacklist, which means that people from southern African countries no longer have to spend ten days and £2,000 in quarantine in a hotel before they can visit (more info).
If you are not completely vaccinated, you must self-isolate at home for ten days and pay for PCR testing on days two and eight throughout the UK.
Daily Frontline Worker Tests
At a Downing Street press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that starting on 10 January. It would check 100,000 employees from the food processing industry to the Border Force every day at work.
The government will assist in the logistics of these lateral flow tests being provided straight to enterprises. Although no list of industries covered by the new restrictions has been issued, the laws are only applicable in England.
The new policies seek to focus LFT supply for essential employees who keep the nation running and early detection of instances so that they do not spread to others and people may return to work as soon as possible.
Wales’s Lateral Flow Testing for Unvaccinated Contacts
Unvaccinated contacts of positive COVID patients were formerly expected to isolate and perform PCR testing on Days 2 and 8 in Wales. To boost PCR testing capacity, they will be replaced by lateral flow tests starting on 5 January.
Close contacts who have not been vaccinated are still urged to self-isolate for ten days in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Those who have been double-jabbed may leave the house, but they recommend daily lateral flow testing.