Free rapid lateral flow tests in Wales

Free rapid lateral flow tests in Wales

To help keep you, your family, your pupils and our examiners safe, we’d encourage you to take coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests twice a week.

Rapid lateral flow tests are used to identify people with COVID-19 who are not showing symptoms. Around 1 in 3 individuals with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms. If left undetected they will continue to spread the virus.

Testing those without symptoms is an important tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Each positive case identified can help prevent many more infections.

Who can get rapid lateral flow tests

Rapid lateral flow testing is currently being offered in Wales to people who do not have symptoms, in a range of different settings.

They are being used for regular testing of NHS and social care staff, as well as in universities, schools, care homes and other workplaces.

People who cannot work from home can also access lateral flow tests.

How to get rapid lateral flow test kits

Find out how to get lateral flow self-test kits.

They’re free, easy to use and give results in 30 minutes.

A lateral flow test is less accurate than a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and testing regularly helps to detect the virus. You should take a rapid lateral flow test twice a week (every 3 or 4 days).

This applies even if you’ve had the first dose or both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. You may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.

The NHS does not yet know how much it will reduce the risk of you passing on the virus. You’re also more likely to be teaching pupils in the age groups where the data shows infection rates are some of the highest and where vaccination is still to be undertaken.

The rapid lateral flow test kit instructions tell you what to do if you get a positive test result.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a PCR test instead.

What this means for your pupils

Your pupils will not need to take a rapid lateral flow test to be able to take their driving test, but by doing one if they’re accessing regular testing under existing schemes or cannot work at home, they’ll help to stop the spread of COVID-19.

We’ve published a new guide for your pupils in Wales about taking a rapid lateral flow test before their driving test. It explains:

  • who’s eligible
  • how to get rapid later flow test kits
  • what to do if they test positive
  • how to ask us to help them find an earlier driving test appointment if they have to change theirs because of a positive test result

We’re contacting all driving test candidates to let them know how to get a rapid lateral flow test and encourage them to get them while they’re learning to drive and before they take their driving test.

If you have a booked a driving test for any of your pupils, you need to pass this information on to them.

More information

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