Do you have to isolate if there is a faint line? (Picture: Getty)
A line next to the ‘C’ means the test has worked, as the C stands for ‘control’, but a line next to the ‘T’ (test) indicates a positive Covid-19 reading.
Some people have reported a faint line next to the T, and have taken to social media to share their confusion as to whether or not it means they have tested positive and need to isolate.
Here is all you need to know about what that faint line means.
What does a faint line on a lateral flow test mean?
Whether the faint line on your lateral flow test means you have tested positive for Covid-19 or not is all down to timing.
Earlier this month, London-based A&E doctor Nathan Hudson-Peacock shared a picture of a test with a barely noticeable positive line to his 19.4k Instagram followers (@expedition_doctor).
It is all down to timing (Picture: Getty)
He explained that if this ‘positive’ line appears after the 30-minute window in which testers should wait for a result, then it does not count as a positive test.
Dr Hudson-Peacock suggested that this line may have been caused by very weak contaminants, such as food or drinks, rather than coronavirus.
However, he added if any line appears before the end of the interpretation window – which is usually 30-minutes – then this is a positive test and you must self-isolate and book a PCR test.’
NHS England’s official guide for using lateral flow tests also states: ‘Two lines – even faint lines – indicate the test is positive.’
Even with a faint line, you must act in accordance to testing positive, meaning you need to isolate and book a PCR test.
NHS guidance says close contacts of those with Covid-19 should do daily lateral flow tests for seven days if both asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, or asymptomatic and aged 18 and six months or under.
If not a close contact, then you should do a lateral flow test before mixing with people indoors and before visiting someone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19.
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