Why you need a code to collect lateral flow tests and how to get one

The way you record lateral flow, also called rapid tests, has now changed and pharmacies require you to provide a unique code.

With the UK government placing more emphasis on large-scale testing than long periods of isolation to keep businesses open, the demand for testing has increased.

In fact, following the announcement of the expanded Covid-19 booster program, the government websites for ordering lateral flow and PCR tests crashed.

The Omicron variant may have milder symptoms compared to other mutations, but it’s the most transmissible strain we’ve ever seen. This increases the importance of regular testing.

Around every third person with coronavirus has no symptoms, but can still infect others.

Even if you are fully vaccinated and boosted, you can still catch and spread the virus.

How to get the code for the lateral flow test

Collecting tests from a pharmacy is the fastest way to get a lateral flow test. You can look it up here where you can collect a free quick test at your location.

However, in order to successfully get your hands on the kit, you will need to bring a code with you.

To get this code, please follow the given steps here on the official government website.

The reference will then be sent to you by email or SMS and can be printed out.

You can also get a bulk code by calling 119 toll free. The lines are open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Why do you need code to collect lateral flow tests?

The code system was put in place to control the delivery of test kits to ensure that anyone can be tested when they want, without households or individuals piling up on supplies.

Pharmacists are told to “encourage” people who do not have a code to collect one. NHS information Sent to pharmacists that pharmacy staff should explain that receiving a bulk code provides additional patient security (especially in the event of a product recall) and enables a better understanding of the test application.

Anonymous collecting without a code is still possible on request.

When should lateral flow tests be done?

You should do a lateral flow test before you:

  • Mixing with people in crowded indoor spaces
  • Visiting someone who is at higher risk of developing seriously Covid-19

You should also do rapid daily tests (one day for seven days) if you’ve had contact with someone with the virus and either:

  • Fully vaccinated
  • Under 18 years and 6 months old


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