The following update has been provided by Chichester District Council
From Tuesday 14 December:

  • fully vaccinated contacts of a COVID-19 case should take a daily lateral flow test for 7 days to slow the spread of the virus.
  • those who test positive or develop symptoms will need to self-isolate.
  • unvaccinated adults must continue to self-isolate for 10 days if they are a contact of someone with COVID-19.

It follows a significant rise in Omicron cases in the UK with the new variant expected to become the dominant strain by mid-December.

From Tuesday 14 December, people who are fully vaccinated and identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not – should take an NHS rapid lateral flow test every day for 7 days to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Omicron infections are rising significantly in the UK and it is expected to become the dominant strain in the UK by mid-December. This move aims to reduce pressures on people’s everyday lives by replacing the requirement for Omicron contacts to isolate for 10 days, while protecting the public by identifying asymptomatic cases and stopping the chains of transmission. Testing daily will also help us understand how and where the virus is spreading.

Close contacts of people who test positive are at higher risk of getting COVID-19 and, with 1 in 3 people asymptomatic, daily testing will help ensure people are not unknowingly passing the virus on to others.

As now, anyone whose rapid test comes back positive or who develops COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test to verify the result. If the PCR result comes back positive, contacts must self-isolate for 10 days from the day they took the positive rapid test or developed symptoms. They do not need to continue taking rapid tests during that 10 day isolation period. If the PCR result comes back negative, contacts can leave self-isolation but should continue to take rapid tests for the remainder of the 7 days.

Anyone identified as a contact with a negative rapid lateral flow result is strongly advised to limit close contact with other people outside their household, especially in crowded or enclosed spaces and with anyone who is more vulnerable. They should also follow government guidance on wearing a face covering and working from home where possible.

Unvaccinated adults are not eligible for this new daily testing policy, they must self-isolate for 10 days if they are a contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 – Omicron or not – unless eligible for an existing workplace daily contact testing.

The government is aware that there are some supply issues with Lateral Flow Test orders online. However, it has assured people that there are still supplies in local pharmacies and that this issue will soon be resolved.

Useful web pages:

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-booster-vaccine/