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Negative PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected)

If your PCR test is negative, you’ll get a text message to say that the test did not detect COVID-19. This means that the virus was not found in your sample.

A negative PCR test result does not mean that you’ve never had COVID-19.

It’s possible that you had the virus, but that:

  • your immune system cleared it by the time you were tested
  • there was no virus present in the sample taken

You do not need to report a negative PCR test result. You only need to report a negative antigen result online.


If you had symptoms, you need to self-isolate (stay in your room) until 48 hours after your symptoms are gone or mostly gone.

Do this even if you have completed your first round of COVID-19 vaccination or had a booster or had a positive PCR test result in the past.

You should be able to return to your normal activities when you have not had symptoms for 48 hours. This includes going to work or school.

If your symptoms continue or get worse, phone your GP.

Page last reviewed: 27 February 2022