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Negative test result for coronavirus (COVID-19)

A negative result means the test did not find signs of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You do not usually need to self-isolate if you get a negative result. But this does not guarantee you do not have COVID-19, so you must keep following all social distancing advice.

If you did a rapid lateral flow test at home, report your rapid lateral flow test result on GOV.UK as soon as possible.

When you need to keep self-isolating

You still need to self-isolate for 10 full days if you get a negative test result and:

  • someone you live with has tested positive
  • someone you live with has symptoms and has not had a test
  • you've been told to self-isolate because you've been in close contact with someone who tested positive
  • you had a PCR test (a test that is sent to a lab) because you had a positive rapid lateral flow test, and there were more than 2 days between the tests (England only)

If you're going into hospital, keep self-isolating until you go in.

Find out more about how long to self-isolate


You may still need to quarantine after a negative test if you've recently travelled to England from abroad. Find out how to quarantine when you arrive in England on GOV.UK

If you feel unwell

If you still feel unwell after a negative test, stay at home until you're feeling better. Contact a GP if your symptoms get worse or do not go away.

Check with your employer before going back to work.

If you're being sick, have diarrhoea or have a high temperature, stay at home until 48 hours after they've stopped.

If you get COVID-19 symptoms after the test, you need to get tested again.

Page last reviewed: 11 June 2021
Next review due: 24 June 2021