The recent easing of restrictions posed on the UK has been a positive step in the right direction for people to resume the closest way of ‘normal’ living. With the government setting out their ‘living with covid’ plan, changes have been made to testing, travel guidance, isolation requirements etc.
With the vaccine rollout being a success, the UK has managed to relieve huge amounts of pressure off the NHS by reducing hospital admissions. With a large majority of the UK population being ‘fully vaccinated’, this has significantly decreased the transmission rate. With covid’s effect on our lives lessening as the weeks go on, the UK has made changes to testing a main priority.
What Is PCR Testing?
PCR testing is referred to as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). It is a test used to detect the genetic material of a particular organism in your body, such as a disease, ailment, or a virus.
List Of Recent Testing Changes
Before January 11th, those who tested positive with a lateral flow test were required to follow it up with a confirmed PCR test UK. However, now this is not required and people who test positive on a lateral flow will no longer have to take a PCR.
People who do test positive are encouraged to stay at home, especially if they are symptomatic. However, this is not required by law. It is important to note that when infected with covid-19, you can be infectious for up to 10 days, which is why it is important to take others into account after you test positive.
The government does not discourage anyone from taking a PCR test if they desire one. The government has set out a plan to scrap free PCR tests and instead they will have to be paid for via a private provider if they are wanted/needed.
Situations Where A PCR Test May Be Required
There are still some situations that you may find yourself in needing a PCR test. People who meet the following standards may require a PCR:
- Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme require a PCR for proof
- Being eligible to take new coronavirus medication – need a PCR to confirm this
- Participating in research or investigation that requires PCR confirmation of infection
- Travel purposes – you are required to take a day 2 test after arriving in England if you are not fully vaccinated
Ways To Stop The Spread Of The Virus After Recent Changes
As the government has set out plans to live with the virus in order for the UK to slowly but surely get back to normal life, there are still ways in which people can help slow the spread.
- Get your vaccine (2 doses) and book your booster appointment when needed
- When required by law, wear a face covering in public indoor, confined areas
- Allow as much ventilation indoors when socialising with multiple people
- Continue to wash hands often and use hand sanitiser when appropriate
- Stay at home if you develop symptoms and/or test positive for the virus in order to decrease the risk of infection to others