Positive changes to Covid testing requirements and self-isolation
7 January 2022

Lateral flow test Annie Spratt Unsplash 610x234

Positive changes to Covid testing requirements and self-isolation

The temporary additional testing measures announced in November to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant have now been removed.

Pre-departure tests no longer required

From 04:00 GMT on Friday 7 January, adults who qualify as fully-vaccinated and ALL under 18s:

  • do not need to take a pre-departure test
  • do not need to self-isolate while waiting for their post-arrival test results

Post arrival tests can be a rapid lateral flow test or a PCR test

From 04:00 GMT on Sunday 9 January, fully vaccinated adults and ALL under 18s can take a less expensive lateral flow test rather than a PCR test. If this test is positive they will need to self-isolate and take a PCR test to confirm the result.

Confirmatory PCR tests suspended (in England & Scotland)

The UK Health Security Agency has announced that from Tuesday 11 January, it is suspending the requirement for people who test positive using a lateral flow test to then take a confirmatory PCR test. Anyone who receives a positive lateral flow test result should still report their result on GOV.UK and must self-isolate. The exception is for those eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP) who will still need to take a confirmatory PCR test if testing positive so that they can access financial support.

Those testing positive in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will still need to take a confirmatory PCR test for now.

Other recent changes

  • People who test positive in England, Scotland and Wales are allowed to exit self-isolation after seven days if they have no fever and they record two negative lateral flow tests on days six and seven. In Northern Ireland the self-isolation period is still set at 10 days.
  • Scotland: household contacts of people with the virus will be allowed to take tests rather than going into self-isolation if they have had a third Covid-19 vaccination (booster).

See details on testing and self-isolation changes for:




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