Alert Section

Lateral Flow Device tests v PCR tests

Thousands of people are now undertaking Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests twice a week at home.  For these tests to be most effective it is important to know when an LFD is the right option and when we should book a PCR test.

LFD tests should only be used when a person is not displaying COVID-19 symptoms.  In no circumstance should they be used as a substitute for a PCR test. This is because they are not designed to pick up COVID-19 when there are symptoms.

As a reminder, the three main COVID-19 symptoms are:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • loss of or change to sense of smell or taste

If someone is displaying any of the above symptoms they should book a PCR test as matter of urgency and self-isolate while they await the result.  You can book a PCR test by following this link  or by calling 119.

From Saturday 7 August fully vaccinated adults, under 18s and vaccine trial participants will not need to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone with coronavirus.  For more information go to Alert Level 0 Frequently Asked Questions 

You can now go for a free COVID-19 test if you have a wider range of symptoms. 

These wider symptoms are:

Flu-like symptoms, which are not caused by a known condition such as hay fever, including any or all of:

  • Myalgia (muscle ache or pain);
  • Excessive tiredness;
  • Persistent headache;
  • Runny or blocked nose;
  • Sore throat and / or hoarseness;
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing;
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea,
  • Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test.

Residents are asked to consider taking a test if they are experiencing any of these wider symptoms and they are new, persistent and/or unusual symptoms for them.

Individuals who take a test because of these other wider symptoms are not required to isolate while they await their test result.  This includes children and school pupils who can continue to attend schools and childcare settings while they await a test result.  However, children and adults with diarrhoea and or vomiting should remain off work or school and not attend childcare settings until they are symptom free for 48 hours even if their COVID-19 test is negative.

For more information on extended symptoms go to Wider symptom testing FAQ - Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board ( 

Together we can all help to keep Flintshire safe.

PCR test v LFD Test Eng