Updated guidance on lateral flow testing

AS of today, anyone in Fermanagh who gets a positive result on a lateral flow test no longer needs to have a PCR test to confirm it. If your lateral flow test is positive, you should assume you’re Covid positive and immediately self-isolate for the required period.

It is also extremely important that anyone who receives a positive lateral flow test registers it, to allow contact tracing to take place. If you have a condition which means your are at high risk from Covid, reporting will also alert your clinical team to your result.

Lateral flow results should be reported online at


If you cannot use the online service, you should call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines) to report the result of your lateral flow test.

The Department of Health, which issued the guidelines this lunchtime, said the removal of the requirement for a confirmatory PCR testing was a temporary measure in response to the very high prevalence of Covid in the community at the moment.

With infections at the highest they have been since the start of the pandemic and demand for tests very high, the Department said “i makes sense to use LFD and PCR tests where they have the most impact in reducing the spread of Covid-19 and protecting the most vulnerable.”

If you have a positive test, the earliest you can end your period of self-isolation is on day seven – providing your lateral flow tests on day six and seven are both negative and you do not have a high temperature. Your day six and day seven lateral flow tests should be at least 24 hours apart. If either is positive, you should continue to isolate until you get two negative lateral flow tests taken 24 hours apart, or after you have completed 10 full days of isolation – whichever is earlier.

Associate Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Joanne McClean said: “If a person gets a positive lateral flow result they should assume they have COVID-19. While removing the need for a confirmatory PCR test will help free up PCR capacity, it ensures that PCR tests are focused where they will give most public health and clinical benefit given the current high levels of disease.

“This includes maintaining PCR testing for those who are clinically vulnerable, allowing new COVID-19 treatments to be deployed in the event of a positive test.

“I would really underline the importance of people reporting the results from their lateral flow tests. This allows contact tracing to be initiated and also helps us to monitor the progression of the pandemic.”



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