The UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) Public Health Advice, Guidance and Expertise (PHAGE) group has presented evidence to the four chief medical officers regarding the duration of self-isolation for COVID-19 cases and the potential to reduce this period with support from repeat testing with lateral flow devices (LFDs).
This advised that a 7-day isolation period alongside two negative LFD test results has nearly the same protective effect as a 10-day isolation period without LFD testing for people with COVID-19. The new approach reflects latest evidence on how long cases transmit the virus for, and supports essential public services and supply chains over the winter, while still limiting the spread of the virus.
From 31 December 2021, if a person is currently self-isolating as a positive case or a person tests positive for COVID-19 they must self-isolate for seven days. On day six of isolation, they should take a lateral flow test and another test 24 hours later.
However, if either of the tests taken on day six or seven are positive, the person should remain in isolation until they have had two negative lateral flow tests or day 10 – whichever is sooner. A positive result on either day six or seven indicates the person is likely to still be infectious and therefore at risk of passing on coronavirus to others.
It is essential everyone self-isolates and uses lateral flow tests in the way advised to ensure they protect others from the risk of infection.
You can get lateral flow tests by:
- Collecting testing kits from a pharmacy or a local collection point: Find your nearest pharmacy or collection point and opening times (on nhs.uk).
- Collecting from workplaces or education settings, which have arrangements to provide testing kits for staff and learners.
- Ordering online for home delivery: Order rapid lateral flow home test kits on GOV.UK. You can order one home testing kit (seven tests) at a time. Delivery takes one to two days.
For further information visit GOV.Wales and Self-isolation | GOV.WALES