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Latest updates on COVID: What you should know

Posted on: 10 January 2022

You all would have seen the news over the last few days of COVID rules changing in the UK. You can find out what has changed below. 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result: 

You still need to self-isolate immediately if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, or when you receive a positive test result if you don’t have symptoms.

Do I need to take a PCR if my lateral flow is positive?

From Tuesday 11 January, if you have a positive lateral flow result, you no longer need to take a PCR test.

What do I do if the test is positive?

You need to register your positive lateral flow result by calling 119, using the NHS app, or via

If the day six test is positive, further tests are needed on the following days, following the same criteria - that you must receive two negative tests, 24 hours apart, in order to end self-isolation.

What do I need to do if my lateral flow is negative?

The new guidance means you can now take two lateral flow tests on isolation days six and seven. You must take these tests 24 hours apart. Once you’ve taken these tests and they come back negative, and you do not have a high temperature, then on day seven, you can stop self-isolating.

Why the change?

Lateral flow tests are the best way of detecting people who are infectious. The Tower Hamlets COVID Champions Team's analysis shows that if you tested 1,000 people right now, you'd get 41 testings positive and almost all of them would be correct.

Close contacts – testing and isolation rules:

If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID, and you’ve had your 1st and 2nd COVID-19 vaccine - you do not have to self-isolate, but should take daily lateral flow tests for seven days.

If one of the lateral flow tests is positive, you'll need to self-isolate and take a PCR test to verify the result

What is I am positive for COVID and haven’t had my jab?

Close contacts of a positive case who are not double-jabbed still have to isolate for the full 10 days

New testing rules before travelling to England

From 4am on Friday 7 January, people who are fully vaccinated and those under 18 years old will no longer need to take a test two days before travelling to England from countries outside the UK. On arrival, they will have to take a PCR test but they will no longer have to self-isolate while awaiting the result

From 4am on Sunday 9 January those who are fully vaccinated will only have to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test on day two. Please note that using the free NHS test is not allowed - This test must be bought from a private test provider.

Passengers who are unvaccinated will need to continue to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests on day two and day eight, and self-isolate for 10 days.