14th Jan 2022
Over recent weeks there have been a number of changes to guidance regarding testing and isolation periods. These are summarised as follows:
Close contacts - All adults who are fully vaccinated and children aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 should take a lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days instead of self-isolating. Daily testing by close contacts will help to slow the spread of COVID-19. Once notified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, anyone that is eligible should take an LFD each day for 7 days and report the results through the NHS reporting service. If they test negative, they can continue to attend their education setting.
Isolation Periods - the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 5 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.
Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 5 and day 6 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. We recommend that these tests are completed early in the morning. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education setting from beginning of day 6.
Testing - Confirmatory PCR tests following a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result have been suspended. This will mean that anyone who receives a positive LFD test result and does not display symptoms will be required to self-isolate immediately and will not be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.
However, people who are eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment will still be asked to do confirmatory PCR testing. Additionally, anyone who develops covid-19 symptoms should still take a PCR test, as lateral flow tests are designed for people without symptoms.