You'll receive your result from NHS Test and Trace via text message or email.
If you test positive using a rapid test, you must self-isolate and book a standard (PCR) test to confirm if you are infected with the virus.
The message you receive won’t automatically advise you to do this.
You need to get a standard test because it's possible that some people who test positive with a rapid test are 'false positive'. The standard PCR test will identify these.
If the standard PCR test result is negative, you'll no longer need to self-isolate and your contacts will no longer need to quarantine. You'll still need to follow the current national restrictions.
If the standard PCR test result is positive, you must isolate in line with NHS advice.
After a positive PCR test result and self-isolation, people should not have a further test of either kind within 90 days of their positive test.
Positive results from tests will be collected by NHS Test and Trace and published as part of the daily case numbers, including how many positive cases are detected with this new method of testing. NHS COVID-19 app users should input their results into the app.
Can I get financial help if I test positive?
Eligible individuals who test positive will be entitled to the £500 test and trace support payment in the same way as a regular swab test through NHS Test and Trace. The government has set out this eligibility criteria.
Find out more and apply for a Test and Trace support payment
You must continue to follow the national restrictions in place at that time.
- Hands – wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water often, and as soon as you get home. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you don't normally meet.
- Space – stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you don't live with, or who is not in your support bubble.
A negative rapid test result doesn't constitute a 'green pass' and doesn't change the current national rules we all need to follow.