Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Covid Scotland: What to do if a faint positive line appears on your lateral flow test

Post Thumbnail

We’ve become used to lateral flow tests over the past year. They’re a quick, easy and reliable way to find out if we could have Covid.

This has enabled us to continue socialising safely through the Omicron wave.

When testing positive, two lines appear on the lateral flow test.

But what should you do if a faint line appears? Or if a line shows after the 15 or 30 minute mark? Does this mean you’re positive? Or are you safe to carry on as if you’re negative?

We’re answering all your questions on lateral flow tests.

Lateral flows and the different result times

The Scottish Government advises taking a lateral flow test before every time you meet up with another household.

Depending on the type of lateral flow test kit you have, you’ll have to wait between 15 and 30 minutes to read your test result.

If you have the blue and white NHS box, you should wait 30 minutes to read your result. You should not read the result after 30 minutes as this makes it void.

At home Covid-19 lateral flow test kit

If your tests are the ACON Flowflex kind, you should wait 15 minutes before you read your result. The result can be read any time between 15-30 minutes. You should not read the result after 30 minutes.

For Orient Gene tests, you can read the result after 15 minutes. Instructions say not to leave the test to develop for longer than 20 minutes, as this will make the result void.

If a line appears next to the T before the time limit, you should assume you are positive, no matter how faint it is.

covid lateral flow test kit

You should hold your test up to light at the 15 or 30 minute mark so you can be sure to see any faint lines that might have appeared during this time.

What if a faint line appears after 30 minutes?

But, what happens if you take a test, return a negative result, and when you look at it later on, there’s a faint line next to the T?

Does this mean the result is void, or should you assume you have Covid?

While this is very rare, this has happened. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have Covid.

It’s not entirely certain why this can occur, but it could be down to contamination from food or drink.

As the instructions in the test kits say, you should not leave your test to develop for longer than 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the kit you have.

Reading the result after this time makes it void. If a faint line appears next to the T after the time frame, the result is likely void and you should not assume you have Covid.

If you’re concerned, you can complete another lateral flow test and check the new result within the allocated time frame.

Scottish Government Covid advice

And the Scottish Government advises anyone in doubt about their result to book a PCR test to confirm whether they’re positive or negative.

If you do so, you’ll have to self-isolate while awaiting the result of your PCR, in case you are positive.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]