Skip to content

Testing is essential to detect COVID-19 and prevent onward transmission

Posted on:

People who have had their vaccination(s) are more protected from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, and early evidence suggests that the vaccine can also prevent a person’s ability to transmit the virus.

But there are no guarantees and we don’t know how effective the current vaccines may be against as yet unknown variants of the virus.

So, whether or not we have had the vaccine, we should all continue to assume that transmission is possible, and keep following infection, prevention and control guidance.

Regular testing is part of that.  Regular testing for people who show no symptoms of having the virus is one of the main ways that we can detect COVID-19 and prevent onward transmission.

Jo Martin, PathologistProfessor Jo Martin, National Specialty Advisor for Pathology for England, said:

“Testing remains one of our main defences in managing the virus.  New variants of COVID-19 are emerging and we must assume that transmission of all virus strains is possible, even after the vaccine.”

Professor Steve Powis, Chief Medical Director for EnglandThe Chief Medical Director for England, Professor Steve Powis, said: 

“Regular asymptomatic testing is helping to prevent onward transmission by identifying cases of the virus which might otherwise have gone undetected.”


Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon

“Make testing part of your regular week,” said Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon.  “Build it into a routine, and use the lateral flow device tests as well when you know you’re likely to be meeting up with friends or family.  These tests are so fast now that you will have your result and peace of mind in half an hour.  If it comes back positive, then you’ll prevent others from catching it by staying home and arranging a confirmatory test.”

For more information about where you can get your lateral flow tests, visit