Lateral Flow Tests are rapid turnaround tests that can process COVID-19 samples on site without the need for laboratory equipment, with most generating results in under half an hour.
These new tests are being piloted across England, including a two-week whole-city pilot in Liverpool, which was launched last week.
The swabbing and processing of these tests must currently be conducted at a dedicated testing site by a trained personnel.
The devices are designed to be intuitive and require minimal training to operate, and PHE and the University of Oxford are now looking at how this test could be self-administered.
PHE’s Porton Down lab and University of Oxford undertook this work and have since been putting a number of tests through a four-phase assessment process. This includes the test being used in Liverpool, and those that are being sent to Directors of Public Health across the country to use for their local communities, and are also being used in schools, universities and workplace settings.