Lateral Flow Tests are the quickest and easier way to test yourself for Covid-19 in the UK but the majority of universal free Covid testing was scrapped at the beginning of April.
Some exceptions remain in place with NHS workers, carers, prison workers and employees in high risk domestic violence refuges able to access kits.
Although free LFTs are no longer available for most of the general public, they remain the cheapest and most convenient way to check yourself as single tests are priced below £2 at most major pharmacies.
As reported in the Mirror, around one in three people with the virus don’t show symptoms, so can spread to others without knowing, according to NHS Inform.
According to the Gov.uk website, lateral flow tests can be less sensitive when a person has lower levels of the virus in their system.
The Government guidance states that “… even faint lines, shows the test is positive”.
It adds: “Result lines may appear smudged or faint, but they are still valid results and must be reported.”
So while you’re seeing a faint second line, it is likely you are positive and currently infected with coronavirus.
You should report this test result and carry out a PCR to confirm the result.
The simple mechanism uses litmus paper and solution to highlight that the test has worked successfully with one line, and a second red line if the virus is present in your saliva.
Lateral Flow tests were previously available for free from the Government website and available over the counter at most pharmacies.
But the scheme was scrapped by the UK Government with the change coming into effect from April 1.
The decision to end universal free testing has been controversial, with many criticising the move.
LFTs are still available for free in Scotland until the end of this month.
Last week, the office of National Statistics reported that Covid infections reached a new record, with an estimated 4.9million Brits testing positive with the virus.
The figures were up by around 600,000 from the previous week and have prompted fresh concerns after all lockdown restrictions were lifted just a month earlier.
Covid expert, Sir Patrick Vallance has warned that the world needs to be ready for another pandemic.
He told the Royal Society Conference that another pandemic was “certain” and that Covid could “reset” and dodge all future vaccines.
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