Covid testing rules are to be relaxed for people without symptoms, who will no longer need to confirm a positive lateral flow with a PCR test.
The UK Health Security Agency announced the rule change will apply from 11 January and apply to England only at this stage.
It will be reviewed when the proportion of people with the virus in England drops below 1% for a sustained period of time.
The accuracy and amount of lateral flows is behind the potential change, health minister Gillian Keegan said.
Anyone who has a positive lateral flow currently needs a confirmatory PCR test and their isolation period is counted from the first day of symptoms or their first positive test.
Under the new guidance, those who don’t have symptoms and have a positive lateral flow will still have to isolate but will no longer take a PCR – the type of test which is sent to a laboratory for analysis.
The guidance hasn’t changed for those with symptoms: always get a PCR. If you don’t have symptoms but have a positive LFD you don’t need a PCR.