Speaking on Wednesday, January 5, Health minister Gillian Keegan estimated that “about one million” people were isolating after more than 215,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported the previous day.
It’s thought that those who are asymptomatic and test positive using a lateral flow device might not need to take a follow-up PCR test.
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Those people could then start their isolation period from the date of their positive lateral flow, if any change is confirmed by the Government.
At time of writing on Wednesday, there were no PCR appointment slots available at walk-in or drive-through testing sites across England in any region.
But home PCR tests were available for both essential workers and the general public.
When should you get a PCR test?
*If you have a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste
*If you have been in contact with someone who’s tested positive and you must self-isolate
*If you have been asked to get tested by your council or someone from NHS Test and Trace
*If you have been asked to get tested by a GP or other health professional
Other criteria include if you’ve received an unclear result in a previous test or are taking part in a Government pilot project.
What do I do if there are no PCR slots available?
At time of writing, there were no PCR testing slots available at walk-in or drive-through sites in any region of England.
In this case, you are able to order a home testing kit to be delivered. It should arrive the day after you place the order.
Advice on the Government website states that you may leave your home to attend a PCR test in person, or to post your home test back at a priority post box.
How do I get a home test kit?
Visit the Government website and answer the prompts – including questions about symptoms and when they began – to order your testing kit.
Once you have completed the steps, a home test kit should arrive at your chosen postal address the following day.
The box contains all of the testing materials and an instruction booklet, as well as information on how to return your test and receiving the result.