HEALTH bosses have made a change to UK testing rules to keep the limit for Covid ahead of Christmas.
The virus is being diagnosed in tens of thousands of people every day, and that number could rise even higher as the holiday season approaches.
Side flow test is a swab that can be performed at home, giving results in less than 30 minutes.
They can be ordered online for free or obtained from pharmacies or workplaces.
Initially, the Department of Health advised people in the UK to use them twice a week to find cases of the virus in people without symptoms.
But it changed its guidelines without any notice to the public, experts say.
The site now says you should do a lateral flow test:
- if you will be in a high risk situation that day
- before you visit people who are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they have Covid-19
A “high risk” situation is considered a situation where you will be in an enclosed and crowded space, such as a club or party, or limited fresh air.
The advice remains that if you experience any symptoms of Covid you should get the NHS for free PCR test Hurry up.
A spokesman for the UK’s Health Security Agency said: “About a third of people with Covid-19 do not have any symptoms but can still infect others.
“Performing a free rapid lateral flow test before a high-risk period will give you reassurance that you are not likely to have an infection and potentially spread Covid-19.”
It comes before the busy festive period, where people will spend more time meeting loved ones, shopping or going to Christmas parties.
It suggests that if you want to go on the highway to Christmas shopping, where it can be busy and unhealthy, you should do a side traffic check.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to avoid tough measures before Christmas, though Covid epidemic in Europe.
MP Layla Moran, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, said she was “bewildered” by the new testing rules.
She said: “It is disconcerting that before considering basic and effective precautions such as mask wearing and social distancing, the government went ahead to issue advice on external flow testing. Much more complicated for Christmas shoppers.
“Deaths and deaths have been unacceptably high in the UK since the summer and Ministers must take responsibility and come up with serious solutions to avoid another Christmas being cancelled. ”
Experts say the message about the trial needs to be made public.
Alan McNally, professor of microbial evolutionary genomics at the University of Birmingham, says Guardians: “We need a really strong public message and let our leaders set an example.
“I don’t think anyone knows what’s going to happen in the next few months, but if we’re going to avoid another scary Christmas because the events are getting out of hand, then we need some new public messaging.” on TV and radio and there are some [prime ministerial] briefings to the public. ”
Professor McNally said medical directors did not make enough effort to point out the unreliability of lateral flow tests.
A positive test is almost always true. But a negative test can be wrong because it doesn’t always pick up traces of the virus.
Iain Buchan, a professor of public health and clinical informatics at the University of Liverpool, said “check before you go” should cut the spread of Covid unless it leads to a large number of people arriving. crowded places that would otherwise not go.
“Information regarding ‘check before you go’ should remind people that they need to get vaccinated first and take other precautions like wearing a face covering in space,” he said. Crowded if possible.
Elsewhere in the UK
People in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still being told they should have a lateral flow test twice a week.
In Northern Ireland, Stormont ministers are urging ministers to work from home where possible to limit cases.
In Scotland, people can show evidence of a negative outcome then go to nightclubs or major events, after vaccinations are required from October.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned of a “precarious” position in Scotland but has stopped short of expanding the vaccine passport program to more locations.
Welsh Health Minister Eluned Morgan told a plenary meeting in Senedd that Wales “wasn’t out of the woods yet” but said there would be no change to the rules for another three weeks with the country remaining at Levels. warning level 0.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/16833649/lateral-flow-test-rules-changed-prevent-covid-christmas/ Changes to UK Covid testing rules to prevent surge in cases before Christmas