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COVID-19 testing confusion

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We’re hearing that some people are taking a second test at the end of their 10 day isolation period (following a positive PCR test), to see if they are still infectious and then are continuing to isolate because that second test is positive.

You do not need to take a PCR test at the end of your isolation period. Once you have completed 10 days isolation, and providing you are feeling well, or if the only symptoms you have are a cough or loss of smell (which can last for several weeks), you are then able to return to normal activity, while continuing to take the usual precautions such as using face coverings, good hand hygiene and making sure rooms are well ventilated.

The reason being, if you’ve just finished self-isolating, you’re likely to test positive for a while because the virus is still present. But by then, it’s much less likely to transmit to others. 

The public health advice is to not take a PCR or lateral flow test for 90 days after testing positive with a PCR test, unless you develop new symptoms during that time. If you develop symptoms during that time, re-test using PCR. Similarly, the advice is to wait 28 days after testing positive with a PCR test to have your COVID-19 vaccination.