From January 11th, health officials confirm that Covid will be confirmed in England for any symptomatic patients who are positive on a lateral blood test.

  • UK Health Security Agency has announced this move in the face of skyrocketing case numbers 
  • Moving will open up laboratory capacity for people with Covid symptoms 
  • People who pass positive rapid lateral flow test will need to self-isolate right away 

Today, the health chiefs announced that people who have tested positive for Covid via a lateral stream test will not need to undergo confirmation PCR testing.

All previous guidance regarding backing up rapid positive tests will be deleted starting January 11.

The UK Health Security Agency, UKHSA announced the decision amid record-breaking case numbers in England. 

For those suffering from Covid symptoms, this move will open up laboratory capacity for PCR tests.

Positive results on the lateral flow devices (LFDs) are required for people to immediately self-isolate without needing PCR confirmation. 

UKHSA stated that this temporary measure is being taken while Covid rates in the UK remain high.

Officials claimed that, while Covid is high in some people, the vast majority of those with positive LFD can feel confident they are infected.

The UKHSA advised that people with Covid symptoms still need to have a PCR test.

Confirmatory PCR tests will no longer be need for people testing positive for Covid on a lateral flow test, the UK Health Security Agency confirmed today. Pictured: UKHSA chief executive Dr Jenny Harries

People who test positive for Covid via lateral flow will no longer need confirmation PCR tests, as the UK Health Security Agency announced today. Photo: Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of UKHSA

Boris begged by companies to reconsider the self-isolation rules that have crippled UK, where 1.3M are still in house arrest 

Business chiefs today begged Boris Johnson to cut self-isolation as around 1.3million people languish under house arrest and rail services and bin collections grind to a halt. 

Following his meeting with Cabinet ministers, the PM feels pressured to cut quarantine again to seven days from five.

As Parliament returns from its Christmas break, Mr Johnson will face a PMQs grilling this afternoon before making a Covid statement to the House. 

In an attempt to lower the stress on the system testing rules will be loosen. People who have positive lateral flows are not required to perform a confirmatoryPCR.

In the meantime, the travel regulations have been updated. They will no longer require that you pass a test before entering the UK. 

The PM, however, has so far refused to make any changes on self-isolation. He expressed concern that it might worsen the problem. 

After infections reached a record-breaking daily high of 218 000, staff absences threaten to derail the country. This means that nearly 1.3 million people are now positive.

Richard Walker, Iceland’s managing director, stated that the absence chart was ‘almost vertical’ and is currently coping well despite the fact it has been able to withstand the worst of the ‘Pingdemic. 

It is clear that businesses are under tremendous pressure. Sky News: “This new strain seems to be much more contagious, and that’s having a huge impact,” he said.

“My appeal to government is to prioritize lateral flow testing for key workers such as food retail workers and front-line shop workers. I also urge them to reconsider the burdensome isolation rules.

“Seven days” is too long for triple-jabbed people, when symptoms for most people are a mild cold or flu.

UKHSA Chief Executive, Dr Jenny Harries, stated: “While Covid-related cases are on the rise,” LFDs can confidently be used without the need to confirm PCR.

“It’s important to immediately isolate anyone suffering from COVID-19 symptoms. A PCR test should be ordered on Or by calling 119.

“I am really thankful to all the critical staff and the public who continue to self-isolate and test frequently to stop the spread of this virus. This is the best way to keep our families, friends and communities safe.

The change was made by health officials until the prevalence of Covid falls below one percent.

According to an infection survey by the Office for National Statistics, there was a prevalence of around four percent last week. 

Experts praised this move given the number of current cases. However, they argued that PCR confirms were ‘waste-time’ in times of infection surges.

SAGE member John Edmunds, a modeller at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: ‘This change makes a lot of sense. 

‘When the prevalence is high — and it is incredibly high at the moment — almost everyone who tests positive with a lateral flow test will be a true positive. 

“There’s no reason to do a PCR. This is a wasteful step and costs too much money. However, there are downsides to this step. 

“We have less data on the relative frequency of different variants in the community. PCR swabs are genotyped and sequenced, so it is possible that the daily numbers of cases confirmed may require more care. 

“Overall though, however, I believe that these downfalls are worthwhile.”

Sir David Spiegelhalter is the chair of Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge. He stated: “This seems like a smart move. 

“We had argued in October that confirmatory PCR was unnecessary after positive lateral flow tests.

“This is especially true today: despite current infection rates, an LFD positive followed by a negativePCR would still indicate that it was likely you had the virus. 

“PCRs can be used for surveillance and sequencing, as well as have legal status. However, if you want to concentrate on the isolation of people with infectious diseases, LFDs might be sufficient. They must still be reported.