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Easing of Coronavirus restrictions

Testing FAQs

1. I have Covid-19 symptoms

a. How do I book a test?

If you have the main symptoms of COVID (fever, persistent cough and loss of smell or taste) you must isolate immediately and book a PCR test on the national booking portal or by calling 119. You must remain in isolation until you get your test result. People in your household and support bubbles also must also isolate until you get your test result but they do not need to book a test unless they develop symptoms.

If you have other symptoms such as headache, aches and pains, feeling very tired for no reason, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, sickness or diarrhoea you are advised to book a PCR test on the national booking portal or by calling 119. You and other people in your household and support bubbles do not need to isolate whilst you wait for your test result.  

b. My PCR test came back as positive

If your test comes back as positive, you and everybody in your household and support bubbles must isolate for ten days starting the day after the date when your symptoms first appeared.

If others in your household develop symptoms during the isolation period, they should book a PCR test on the national booking portal or by calling 119. If their result is positive they must start another ten day isolation period starting from the day after the date when their symptoms appeared. If their result is negative they must complete the original ten day isolation period.

Even if others in your household do not develop symptoms during the isolation period, they should book a PCR test on the national booking portal or by calling 119. If their result is positive they must start another ten day isolation period starting from the day after the date the test was taken. If their result is negative they must complete the original ten day isolation period.

 

2. I don’t have Covid-19 symptoms

a. How do I book a test?

You should get tested regularly, and at least twice a week, by booking a lateral flow test (rapid test) at one of our community testing sites, or by ordering testing kits to use at home. Your results will be sent to you via email or text.

More information can be found on our Testing for people without symptoms webpage.

b. My lateral flow test came back as positive, what do I do now?

You and everybody in your household and support bubbles must isolate immediately. You should take a confirmatory PCR test within two days to confirm the result. You can do this on the national booking portal or by calling 119.

c. My confirmatory PCR test has come back as positive

If your confirmatory PCR test comes back as positive, you and everybody in your household and support bubbles must isolate for ten days starting the day after the date your lateral flow test was taken. Others in your household should also take a PCR test whether or not they have symptoms as in 1b above.

d. I didn’t take a confirmatory PCR test or I didn’t take one within two days

If your did not take a confirmatory PCR test, or took it more than two days after the lateral flow test then you and everybody in your household and support bubbles must isolate for ten days starting the day after the date your lateral flow test was taken.

e. My lateral flow test was positive, but my confirmatory PCR test was negative. Can I stop self-isolating?

If your confirmatory PCR test comes back as negative then you and everybody in your household and support bubbles can be released from isolation and should continue to follow the rules and precautions to prevent the spread of infection: Hands Face, Space.

 

General

Are the self-isolation periods optional?

No these are legal requirements. If you test positive for Covid-19 or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, you must isolate by law. The police can issue fines of £1,000 for breaches, and that could rise to £10,000 for multiple breaches.

Can I leave my house to exercise on my own when it’s quiet?

Sorry, no. You must not leave your house at all during your isolation period except to get a test if you develop symptoms. Even if it is quiet outside.

I developed symptoms yesterday afternoon but today is my first day of isolation, why are you making me isolate an extra day?

Partial days of isolation do not count, it needs to be 10 full days from when you developed symptoms, tested positive or came into contact with a positive case.

I have seen people who should be isolating leave their house. What’s the point if others aren’t isolating?

Following the isolation rules is essential as it breaks the chains of transmission.

The majority of people have followed the rules exceptionally well and we have seen it have an effect. Please follow the rules to help us control the virus and protect the more vulnerable in our county.

I have just arrived back from abroad. How long do I need to isolate for?

If you have arrived back from a country not on the travel corridor red list, you will need to isolate for 10 days.

Alternatively, you can book a test with a private provider through the Test to Release for International Travel programme.

Test and Trace Support Payment

You might be able to get a payment of £500 if either:

  • you have been told to self-isolate because of coronavirus (COVID-19) and you cannot work from home
  • you’re the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate and you need to take time off to look after them

More information can be found on the Government’s NHS Test and Trace Support Payment webpage. Eligibility criteria will apply.

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