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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-rapid-tests-for-use-in-community-pharmacies-or-at-home/covid-19-rapid-tests-for-use-in-community-pharmacies-or-at-home
Some manufacturers are selling products containing COVID-19 testing kits that allow a swab or other type of sample to be taken at home or in the pharmacy setting, followed by a very rapid result within about 10 minutes.
These tests are different from the postal kits that are being used whereby the swab is taken by you at home and then returned by post or courier. (Refer to essential worker testing for more information.)
The current view by PHE is that use of products that give a very rapid result is not advised:
- some of these products look for virus while others look for the body’s immune response to the virus. Such tests are very rapid and can work on a range of specimens including serum, plasma or finger-prick whole blood
- there is little information on the accuracy of these rapid point of care tests, or on how a patient’s antibody response develops or changes during COVID-19 infection. It is not known whether either a positive or negative result is reliable
- currently there is no published evidence about the suitability of these rapid point of care tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infection in a community setting