Skip to main content

Coronavirus: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL15034, tabled on 19 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) accuracy, and (2) usefulness, of lateral flow tests, following reports that the rate of false positives returned by these tests has increased as the prevalence of COVID-19 has fallen.

Answered on

23 April 2021

New analysis of community testing data shows lateral flow device (LFD) tests to have a specificity of at least 99.9%. For every 1,000 LFD tests carried out, there is less than one false positive result. Rapid testing using LFDs detects cases quickly in under 30 minutes, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately, breaking chains of transmission.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care