BRITS will see a major Covid rule change on PCR tests today.
From January 11, anyone who has tested positive for Covid but is asymptomatic on a lateral flow test does not need to be followed up with a PCR test.
But Britons should always have a follow-up PCR test if they show symptoms of Covid, regardless side flow test results.
The change is being made to relieve some of the pressure on PCR tests and prevent any possibility of further spread.
The rule change is a temporary measure while Covid rates remain high across the UK.
Experts say Omicron infections are milder, and many now say we need to “learn to live” with the virus.
An extremely positive series of studies shows that Omicron IS is milder than other strains, with the first official UK report showing a 50 to 70 per cent lower risk of hospitalization compared to Delta.
Health officials have repeatedly said the Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of weathering the pandemic.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping to get vital additional vaccines in British arms to avoid the need for any new restrictions.
The new rules are quite simple – if you get positive results on a lateral flow, you isolate and assume you have Covid.
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If you don’t have symptom you don’t need to do anything else, other than record your results on the Government website.
Stay home for the next week, and you can quarantine if you test negative on Friday and Saturday.
But you must continue to isolate if you continue to test positive for two consecutive tests, 24 hours apart.
Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Government’s Sage scientific advisory board, said the rule change was “very significant”.
“When prevalence is high – and extremely high at the present time – virtually everyone who tests positive for a lateral flow test will be a true positive,” he said.
“There’s really no need to confirm this by PCR, a step that not only wastes time, but also costs a lot of money and uses up lab resources that could be better used elsewhere.”
Dr Alexander Edwards, Associate Professor in Biomedical Technology, University of Reading, added: “The impetus that the UK system still requires recent PCR validation is likely due to tracking of variants of virus, instead of validating the original sideline result.”
It comes as 142,224 more cases of coronavirus were recorded on Monday, the first increase of the day.
on Sunday, 141,472 cases were reported, and on Saturday, 146,390 people also tested positive.
Sadly, a further 77 people lost their lives in the 28 days after testing positive, bringing the UK’s total death rate to 150,230.
But this is down from Monday’s total of 97 deaths and 313 deaths reported on Saturday, and 229 deaths reported on Friday.
Cases hit a record high on Tuesday when 218,724 cases were reported, but since then they have been steadily declining.
Zoe Williams, columnist for The Sun yesterday said that getting yourself a spike is the best thing you can do for your health this winter.
While jabs help protect us from serious Covid-related consequences, local restrictions such as wearing masks and working from home also help prevent the spread of the virus in the community.
Yesterday, a minister said that Plan B restrictions, such as those outlined above, could be lifted in a matter of weeks if the NHS copes with ongoing winter pressures.
Hospital seems to cope better with Omicron patients than initially feared in the context of evidence that the variant is much milder.
The encouraging data triggered demand for Boris Johnson to eliminate the remaining Covid curbs such as mandatory face masks and working from home.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8184790/major-covid-rule-change-today-pcr-test/ Brits to see a major Covid rule update TODAY that changes the way you use PCR testing