About Lateral Flow testing for people with no symptoms

Lateral flow antigen testing is recommended by the Department for Health and Social Care for use in people with no symptoms and who would otherwise not be tested for COVID-19. The purpose of lateral flow testing is to pick up infections early, or where there are no obvious symptoms. This will help to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. The test detects the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad. The sample runs along the surface of the pad, showing at the end a visual positive or negative result dependent on the presence of the virus.

Everyone without symptoms aged 11 and over in Warwickshire is asked to test twice-weekly, roughly 3-4 days apart.

NEW In addition, Government is asking people to test ahead of public gatherings where they come into contact with different people than usual.

NEW Government has advised that people aged over 18 years and 6 months and who have received their full programme of COVID-19 vaccinations may test daily for 7 days using a lateral flow test if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, in place of self-isolating for 10 days.

Tests are free, and can be completed at test sites where available, or at home using home testing kits. Test results can be uploaded to NHS Test and Trace.

Lateral flow testing kits are safe to use on children aged 2-10, but their frequent use of not recommended due to discomfort. Parents or carers should administer tests on these children. Anyone receiving a positive result using a lateral flow test should take a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test to confirm the result. Book a PCR test online or by ringing 119.

Test accuracy

Lateral flow antigen testing has undergone extensive clinical evaluation and has been judged to be accurate and sensitive enough for asymptomatic community testing. As with all types of test it is not 100% accurate so a person testing negative can still be infectious. It is therefore vital to continue to maintain national guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and wearing of face coverings, and limit contact with others where possible, to reduce the risk of transmission.