Lateral flow test and PCR rules in Scotland explained as Covid restrictions lift today

From today, people who show no symptoms of the virus are no longer required to take lateral flow tests (LFTS) regularly.

Free LFTs are no longer available for the general population from Monday, April 18 as the test and protest system undergoes big changes.

As the last of coronavirus restrictions are lifted, what are the latest rules on LFTs and PCRs?

Here is everything you need to know about Covid-19 testing in Scotland.

Free tests

Free LFTS are no longer available to the general public for bi-weekly testing.

Tests will be available for purchase at local pharmacies for £2 each.

But LFTs will still be freely available for any reason regular testing is still advised – health and social care workers, clinical employees and regular visitors of compromised people in care homes or hospitals.

PCR tests

Lateral Flow Tests will no longer be free to the public

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According to a weekly Coronavirus survey taken by the Office for National Statistics, about one in every 17 people in Scotland had Covid-19 in the week up to April 9, a drop on recent weeks.

Those showing symptoms should continue to isolate and get a PCR test until April 30.

Test sites are to close at the end of April and people with symptoms will no longer be advised to seek a test.

What to do if you feel unwell

To reduce the risk of infecting others, public health advice for people who show symptoms will be advised to stay home and isolate until they feel better.

Masks are no longer legally required on public transport and most indoor public spaces in Scotland as the rule moved into guidance on Monday.

However, although the final coronavirus restriction in law has been lifted, the Scottish Government is still strongly recommending that people continue to wear face coverings where appropriate as Covid-19 continues to spread.

Speaking on the change, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “In recent weeks we have seen steady progress as we move back to a greater sense of normality and a more sustainable way of managing this virus.

“However our NHS is still under pressure and the most vulnerable members of our society can still benefit from additional measures to protect them from the virus.

“That is why although the use of face coverings will become guidance rather than a legal requirement I strongly recommend members of the public continue wearing face coverings in indoor settings where possible, and particularly when significant numbers of people are present.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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