Understanding Covid testing

In the 7 days up to 7 January (based on data published on 12 January) we had 4,170 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 in Brighton & Hove.

This is:

  • down 7.3% on the previous 7 days
  • equivalent to a weekly rate of 1429.4 per 100,000 residents
  • higher than the South East which was 1397.4 per 100,000
  • lower than the rate for England, which was 1722.7 per 100,000 

This week, more changes to testing and isolation were introduced.

On 11 January, new guidance was introduced for people who have a positive rapid lateral flow test: you should self-isolate immediately, however in most cases you will not need to take a PCR test to confirm the result. If you will be applying for a Test and Trace Support Payment you will still need to take a PCR test.  

From Monday 17 January, people can leave self-isolation after 5 full days if they test negative on days 5 and 6.

What this means for Brighton & Hove

Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health at Brighton & Hove City Council said:

“This week’s data shows a small drop in cases but these are still extremely high numbers and Covid is still spreading quickly across the city and throughout the country.

“We need to be vigilant about testing and following the guidance to make sure we keep ourselves and others safe.

“With a number of recent changes to testing and isolation guidance it can be difficult to know what advice to follow.

“We should all be taking lateral flow tests whenever we’re meeting others or going to places that are busy or poorly ventilated.

“We should be recording both positive and negative results. This way you will receive the right guidance for you to follow from NHS Test and Trace. It also helps us to track the spread of the virus within the city.

“For anyone that has any Covid symptoms, you should still book or order a PCR test and isolate immediately. When you receive your results you’ll be given advice about what to do next.

“If you test positive on a lateral flow or PCR test, you should self-isolate immediately and follow the latest isolation guidance.”

Actions we should all take to keep ourselves and others safe

Book your 1st, 2nd and Covid booster vaccines and your flu jab as soon as you’re able to.

Reduce your close contacts and keep groups small. The fewer people you meet the safer you will be.

Meet outside where possible or open a window when you’re inside.

Wear a face covering in all crowded or enclosed spaces. Face coverings are required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport. You should also wear them in outside areas that are busy like bus stops, at outdoor events and when you’re shopping.

Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser regularly and cover coughs and sneezes.

Take lateral flow tests before you meet others, socialise or go to crowded or enclosed places. You can order tests online or pick up test kits from Jubilee Library, Hove Town Hall or at local pharmacies. Please report all results so that you receive the most up-to-date guidance. You no longer need to order a PCR test to confirm the result but you must self-isolate immediately.

Stay at home if unwell, to reduce the risk of passing other illnesses onto friends, family and others in your community.

If you have any Covid symptoms you must self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test.​ If you test positive you must follow the latest self-isolation rules and you can access support if you need to.

If you test positive on a PCR test or lateral flow test you must self-isolate. You must follow the latest self-isolation rules.

If you've been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19 and you’re:

  • fully vaccinated (second dose more than 14 days ago), or aged under 18 years and 6 months old, you should take daily lateral flow tests for 7 days.
  • not fully vaccinated, get a PCR test and stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days even if your PCR is negative. 

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