Advice for those who test positive

If you have a positive COVID-19 test result, it’s very likely that you have COVID-19 even if you do not have symptoms. This means you can pass on the infection.

If you have a positive COVID-19 test result, you should follow the advice below:

  • stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days after the day of the test, or from the day symptoms started (whichever was earlier)
  • as children, tend to less infectious than adults, this period is reduced to three days for children and young people under 18 years of age
  • as a precautionary measure, you should avoid contact with people you know to be at higher risk from COVID-19 for 10 days especially those with a weakened immune system to make sure you are no longer infectious
  • do not visit others in a health or social care setting during this 10 day period
  • continue to take precautions, such as regularly washing your hands and wearing a face mask, particularly in crowded indoor places
  • let everyone in your household know about your positive COVID-19 test result as COVID-19 is infectious for up to two days before you begin to feel unwell, or the date of your test and it can take up to 10 days for infection to develop in close contacts
  • tell anyone you had close contact to be aware of signs or symptoms during this time.

Testing to end self-isolation following a positive COVID-19 test is no longer advised.

Negative result

If your lateral flow test result is negative, it is likely that you did not have COVID-19 at the time you took the test and you do not need to stay at home.