As set out in the government’s Roadmap, the national journey out of lockdown is reliant on us being able to control variants of concern.
To increase our preparedness and heighten our defences against new variants, we have backed new technology, known ‘genotype assay testing’, which could halve the time it takes to identify if a positive Covid-19 test contains a variant of concern. This will allow positive cases to be traced sooner and stop the spread of variants on UK soil.
Genotype assay testing is compatible only with PCR tests and in order to detect the maximum number of cases with variants, the government is reintroducing confirmatory PCR testing for positive LFD test results in England. Confirmatory tests are used to validate the result of the initial rapid test. This means we can reintroduce confirmatory PCR for supervised testing without losing the benefits of rapid contact tracing, and freeing people and their contacts from self-isolation in the instance of a false positive.
For further information about recent analysis by NHS Test and Trace, how contact tracing will continue and how it is in line with the strengthened regime in place for international arrivals please click here
It remains essential that anyone who gets a positive result from an LFD result self-isolates immediately, as must other members of their household, while they get a confirmatory PCR test.