THE rules surrounding testing for Covid-19 are set to change from tomorrow (January 11).

Those who receive a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result for coronavirus will be required to self-isolate immediately, and will not be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

However, if you have one of the three main symptoms of Covid-19 then you must stay at home and take a PCR test. If you receive a positive test result, you must self-isolate, even if you have had a negative LFD test.

LFDs are only taken by people who do not have any symptoms of Covid-19.

The symptoms of coronavirus are as follows:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Professor Trudi Grant, director of Public Health for Somerset County Council, said: “While Covid levels remain high across Somerset, and indeed, the country as a whole, people can be confident that rapid tests are highly accurate.

"The vast majority of people who test positive on an LFD can be confident that they have Covid-19, and should self-isolate.

"However, these tests are only for people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19. Anyone with Covid symptoms should self-isolate and book a PCR test.”

Anyone who tests positive will be able to leave self-isolation seven days after the date of their initial positive test if they receive two negative lateral flow test results, 24 hours apart, on days six and seven providing they no longer have a fever.

READ MORE: Latest Covid figures in Somerset West and Taunton

However, people who require Test and Trace financial support, those taking part in Covid research studies and around one million people in England eligible for new NHS treatments for Covid will all be asked to take a follow-up PCR.

Somerset County Council has advised residents to keep re-visiting the site to order LFD tests, as availability is refreshed every few hours.

To order Covid-19 LFD tests, visit