Covid19: change to testing rules for self-isolation

A change to the testing rules for self-isolation comes into effect on Tuesday 11 January in England and on Thursday 6 January in Scotland. 

If you have a positive lateral flow test and no symptoms, you must self-isolate at once without the need for a confirmatory PCR test. You must report the positive result on and will be contacted by Test & Trace in England or Test & Protect in Scotland. You can stop self-isolating if you have negative lateral flow tests on days 6 and 7. 

If you have a positive lateral flow test and have symptoms, you should still get a confirmatory PCR test. What to do if you have symptoms – NHS (

Rules for close contacts of those with a positive test remain unchanged.

Further update for people in Scotland (effective from midnight on the 5/6 January):

  • People who are fully vaccinated (which the Scottish Government says means two doses and either a booster or a third dose) and are close contacts of someone with a positive case of Covid no longer need to self-isolate; what is now required is 7 days of lateral flow tests, only needing to self-isolate if one of these tests is positive. 
  • People who are self-isolating following a positive PCR or LFD test result and have negative LFD test results on days 6 and 7 can now come out of isolation on day 7, as long as they have no fever. This brings Scotland in line with the rest of the UK.

More information from the Government is available here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support – GOV.UK ( 

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