An A&E doctor has shared the most common mistakes he has found people make when taking lateral flow tests.
Millions of Brits have made taking the tests part of their everyday lives to help prevent the spread of Covid infections.
Dr Nathan, a doctor in London, says some people are testing themselves incorrectly and may be inadvertently going out while positive for the virus.
He says the three most common mistakes are failing to spot positives, not reading the instructions and mixing up the best way to conduct the test, Manchester Evening News reports.
Dr Nathan said: “Any positive line within 30 minutes, even if it is so faint that it is barely visible, equals a positive result,” he said.
“However, if a faint line appears after 30 minutes, this can be ignored.”
He added: “Don’t forget to avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes before, to blow your nose and to wash your hands!”
“You should always follow the enclosed instructions,” he continued.
“If the test advises doing a throat and nose swab, do this. If it advises a nose swab only, do this.
“That being said, there are some anecdotal reports of people getting a positive throat swab and a negative nose swab, and later developing symptoms and a positive PCR.”
Dr Nathan who shares advice about Covid on his Instagram, @expedition_doctor.
It comes as a new rule change is set to come into effect tomorrow, as the government works on keeping on top of coronavirus case numbers.
There have been difficulties keeping track of case numbers in recent weeks due to shortages of lateral flow tests (LFTs) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
Despite this, case numbers have remained high and have reached record levels since the Omicron variant took a hold on the country.
The UK’s official Covid death toll passed 150,000 on Saturday January 8.
Currently, people who test positive for Covid with no symptoms on a lateral flow test are required to take a PCR to confirm their status. This will change from January 11.
They will still have to isolate for at least seven days, but only from the date of their positive lateral flow test.