Isle of Wight News

10 January 2022, 17:49

Changes to COVID-19 testing

Changes to COVID-19 testing: Don't guess

From tomorrow (Tuesday), Islanders who do not have symptoms and test positive for COVID-19 using a lateral flow test will no longer need a follow-up PCR to begin their isolation period.

If you get a positive result on a lateral flow test you will still need to self-isolate immediately and report your result on This applies to everyone, vaccinated or not.

After reporting a positive LFT result, you will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that your contacts can be traced. You must continue to self-isolate.

People experiencing the three main symptoms of COVID-19 — a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste — will still be expected to isolate immediately and book a PCR test online or by calling 119 as soon as possible. This has not changed.

Those who return a positive PCR result are required to isolate immediately for up to ten days — reduced to seven if they return negative results on day six and seven of their period of isolation.

Simon Bryant, the council's director of public health, said: "The rates of COVID-19 infection across the Island continue to be very high.

"Once again I would stress the importance of being vaccinated and having a booster jab. All of the indications are that this gives you high protection from serious illness from either the Delta or Omicron variant of the virus. So please, if you have still not had a vaccine or booster, make it your new year resolution to do so.

"At the same time, all of the behaviours we know so well — hands, face, space, ventilate — have to continue to be a core part of our daily lives to prevent us catching or transmitting the virus in the first place."

Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for Public Health, added: "Islanders must remain vigilant.

"Please get vaccinated if you have not been. This helps save lives and protects our key workers who are working incredibly hard in difficult circumstances for you, our Island people." 

Important information

It’s important to note that if you think you will be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you will still need a confirmatory positive PCR result to access financial support. If a parent applies for a payment because they are looking after a child who has tested positive, that child must have a PCR result.

Please check your eligibility on this page on the council’s website to make sure you don’t miss out.

For more information on COVID-19, visit 

Contact Information

Martin Neville
Isle of Wight

Notes to editors

1. People participating in research or surveillance programmes may still be asked to take a follow-up PCR test, according to the research or surveillance protocol.

2. The online digital journey for Test and Trace is now available for positive cases under 18 years old. This means:

  • Positive cases that are aged under 18 will be able to complete the digital journey via their parent or guardian;
  • Those without a digital option will continue to receive a call on their landline number from the trace service.

3. Anyone who tests positive on an LFT or PCR test will be able to leave self-isolation seven days after the date of their initial positive test if they receive two negative LFT results, 24 hours apart, on days six and seven.

4. People who have not been fully vaccinated must still isolate for the full ten days if they are a contact of a positive case.

5. If you qualify as fully vaccinated, you can take either an LFT or PCR test within two days of arriving in England. If you have a positive result on an LFT, you must take a confirmatory PCR test.

6.  If you qualify as fully vaccinated or are under 18, you do not need to take a PCR test before you travel to England or self-isolate when you arrive.