Today is the LAST day you can test positive for Covid and still make Christmas

TODAY is the last day you can get a positive Covid test result and make it out of isolation before Christmas.

Hundreds of thousands of people are likely to test positive between now and Christmas, ruining their festivities, as Omicron spreads rapidly up and down the country.

The Government self-isolation rules say that if you get a positive test result, but have no symptoms, you must self-isolate straight away, and for the following 10 days.

It means if you got a positive result today, you would self-isolate up until now, and from December 15 to midnight on December 24.

However, if you develop symptoms during your self-isolation period, it means you would miss Christmas.

The rules state: “If you are isolating because of a positive test result but did not have any symptoms, and you develop Covid-19 symptoms within your isolation period, start a new 10 day isolation period by counting 10 full days from the day following your symptom onset.”

People may get a PCR test without symptoms if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, such as a housemate.

It can take several days for symptoms of the virus to show after exposure, or for viral load to be high enough to be detected.


As Covid infects several thousands a day, Brits are scrambling to get an in-demand PCR test.

But the testing system has faltered today, with no slots available for walk-in PCR tests across England this morning.

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The website has now been updated – with just a few areas experiencing issues, including Hertfordshire and Suffolk.

Downing Street insisted there is significant testing capacity despite whole regions having a zero availability message online.

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The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "In terms of PCR availability, I don't have the latest but I would envisage further booking possibilities will come online later and, of course, there are in-person opportunities as well."

Lateral flow tests (LFTs) are also in short supply, with the Government unable to give any out for the second day running.

The rapid tests are recommended to be taken at home before an individual goes to a “high-risk” place – such as a Christmas party.

And from Tuesday, a rule-change means anyone who is a household contact of someone with Omicron must test themselves every day for a week using lateral flows, rather than self-isolate.

It’s led to the booking system to collapse under the sheer volume of demand.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), responsible for the tests, said yesterday ordering LFTs has been suspended so that existing orders can be fulfilled. 

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: He said: "There is no shortage of actual tests that are held by UKHSA. There are tens of millions of tests…

“The issue, the limiting factor because of the hugely increased demand… is the ability to deliver the tests and having enough capability to deliver the tests because the current arrangements with Royal Mail alone are not enough."

The PM’s spokesperson said 2.6 million lateral flows were dispatched between 8pm on Saturday and 8pm on Sunday, compared to 584,000 on November 13.


It comes as mounting pressure builds in the face of Omicron.

Boris Johnson has warned his Cabinet that a “huge spike” of Omicron is coming, according to Downing Street.

Giving an account of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister said a huge spike of Omicron was coming and the measures we aim to introduce as part of Plan B were balanced and proportionate, helping to reduce transmission while we ramp up the booster programme.”

Experts envision a wave that peaks in January or February, as Omicron gains dominance in the UK over the next few days.

It has led to fears Mr Johnson could plunge England into tougher restrictions before New Year’s Eve to prevent more ases.

The Sun revealed that gloomy officials are drawing up proposals to restrict numbers in pubs or close them completely if required.

A government source said: “You will be able to see your family at Christmas, but at this rate, you might not be able to do it in a pub.

"As for New Year’s Eve, that is a different story.”

The rise in Omicron cases, the variant's ability to waiver the efficacy of vaccines, hospital admissions and deaths, and the impact of Plan B, will influence whether Plan C is brought in.

Brits have been urged to come forward for their vaccination and booster jabs in a bid to beat the variant before Christmas.

Today, the Duchess of Cornwall got behind The Sun's Jabs Army campaign and urged Brits to sign up for the programme.

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