The guidelines are changing and people are starting to see friends and family from outside – but before you do, read this
With restrictions easing and more people being vaccinated against Covid-19 every day, the UK is making careful progress to return to some form of normalcy.
Of course, this does not mean that the risk of catching and spreading the virus is over. About one in three people with Covid-19 has no symptoms and may be transmitting without knowing it.
That’s why rapid lateral flow tests are now available to everyone without symptoms. Millions of people are taking regular rapid tests twice a week – at work, if it’s an option, or at a test site or at home.
The regular rapid test is a quick and easy way to find out if you have coronavirus – and by developing the habit of being tested twice a week in your life, you can help prevent the virus from spreading.
Based on the same reliable technology as a pregnancy test, tests to detect Covid-19 are easy and performed in the following four steps.
Research from PHE and the University of Oxford shows that rapid tests detect the vast majority of cases in the most infectious stage of the disease. They return the results within 30 minutes, so those with a positive test can isolate themselves immediately.
Whether positive, negative or even null, you should report your result at gov.uk/report-covid19-result or call 119.
So far, more than 43 million rapid tests have been carried out, including 18 million in schools and colleges, identifying more than 111,000 people with Covid-19 who had no symptoms.
Rapid tests are a vital tool to help reduce transmission, along with all other vital safety measures, including hands, face, space and fresh air guidelines.
The more of us participating in the quick test, the more we can protect each other.
You can take quick tests at the workplace, at test locations, schools (for students and staff) and through online ordering.