Anybody who tests positive for Covid-19 on a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) will not be required to book a mandatory PCR follow up test to confirm their result. Previously, PCR tests were used to confirm any positive test on LFTs.
Instead, those who do receive a double-line will be asked to self-isolate for at least seven days, provided they test negative on days six and seven.
These changes are set to be announced by the government today (January 5) to tackle staff shortages, as over a million people in Britain are thought to be self-isolating. Numbers are approximated based on how many positive cases have been reported.
Currently, if people are asymptomatic, they are required to isolate from the day they test positive on a PCR test. With this new tweak, it will allow asymptomatic cases to return to work faster – provided they are testing negative on LFTs by day seven.
Shortages are putting strain on key services, such as the NHS and schools. The chief executive of the NHS has called the shortages “unprecedented”, and has had the knock-on effect of staff exhaustion, with many workers asked to give up their days off to make up numbers.
Yesterday (January 4), Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that no further restrictions would be introduced in this new year period. Plan B measures, however, including mask wearing in confined spaces and working from home, will continue. Critical workers will also be offered daily tests.