Data collected between 31 January and 5 February 2022 found the majority (80%) of respondents reported that they had undertaken daily rapid lateral flow testing; this was significantly higher than in early January 2022 (70%).
Around three-quarters (75%) of respondents undertook daily testing and completed all the required tests; a significantly higher proportion than early January 2022 (64%).
Of those who undertook daily testing, a significantly lower proportion of respondents experienced difficulties obtaining tests in February 2022 (19%), compared with early January 2022 (46%).
Around two-fifths (40%) of respondents who took part in daily testing never reported their results, while around a third (33%) said they always reported their results.
Around one-fifth of respondents (18%) correctly identified that someone does not need to have received the booster dose to be considered fully vaccinated.
Since 16 August 2021, close contacts of a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) were not required to self-isolate if they had been fully vaccinated, but were advised to have a PCR test. From 14 December 2021, this advice changed and fully vaccinated contacts were advised to take a lateral flow device test (often referred to as rapid lateral flow test) every day for seven days.
Between 31 January and 5 February 2022, the majority (80%) of respondents reported that they had undertaken daily lateral flow tests (LFTs). This was statistically significantly higher than those who were surveyed between 10 and 15 January 2022 (70%). Of these, 94% had completed all the tests. This was 75% of all respondents. Around 16% of respondents who undertook daily testing reported they had tested positive on one of their daily LFTs.
Two in ten (20%) respondents reported not taking daily LFTs. The most common reasons for this included "I do not think it's useful" (27%) and "I did not have access to enough lateral flow tests" (19%). The proportion of respondents who did not take daily LFTs for the reason "I did not have access to enough lateral flow tests" was significantly lower than in early January 2022 (32%).
Around one-fifth (19%) of those who had taken daily LFTs reported experiencing difficulty in obtaining the tests. This was statistically significantly lower than early January 2022 (46%). Of those who had experienced difficulties, common reasons were "I could not obtain a lateral flow test (no availability)" (74%) and "there was a delay in delivery of lateral flow tests" (27%).
|Indicators of daily rapid testing||10 to 15 |
|31 January to |
5 February 2022
|Percentage who reported they had undertaken daily |
rapid lateral flow testing
|Percentage who undertook daily testing and completed |
all required tests
|Percentage who were very or moderately confident that they |
understood the guidance on daily rapid testing
|Of respondents who had undertaken daily rapid testing, |
percentage who experienced difficulty in obtaining tests
Download this table Table 1: Taking daily rapid tests and understanding of the guidance significantly increased, while difficulty obtaining tests significantly decreased.xls .csv
Of respondents who had taken daily LFTs and had tested negative for COVID-19, around half (51%) said they met up with friends or family they did not live with “less often” than before starting daily testing.
Around two-fifths (40%) of respondents who took part in daily lateral flow testing never reported their results. This was statistically significantly higher in respondents aged 18 to 29 years than in all age groups 50 years and over (Figure 1).
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The majority (77%) of respondents reported they were either very or moderately confident in their understanding of the rules about self-isolation for those who are double vaccinated.
Respondents were asked about their interpretation of the guidance for double vaccinated individuals, after being in contact with a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19). The majority (89%) correctly reported that people should take daily rapid lateral flow tests (LFTs) for seven days. This was statistically significantly lower in males (85%) than in females (94%).
Around one in six respondents (17%) felt the current isolation guidance for those who are double vaccinated was insufficient to keep the public safe. This was similar to early January 2022 (18%). Around three-fifths (61%) reported taking additional measures to keep themselves and others safe, beyond government guidelines.
Around one in five respondents (18%) correctly identified that someone does not need to have received the booster dose to be considered fully vaccinated . Nearly four in five (78%) respondents incorrectly believed that the booster dose was required, and the remaining 4% were unsure.Back to table of contents
Contacts not required to self-isolate
From 14 December 2021, those who are fully vaccinated and aged under 18 years are not legally required to self-isolate if they have been in contact with a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19). However, if you are aged five years and over, you are strongly advised to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test (often referred to as rapid lateral flow test) every day for seven days. The LFD test should be taken before leaving your home for the first time that day.
If you take an LFD test and the result is positive, you should immediately self-isolate and follow the Stay at home guidance. From 11 January 2022, you do not need to take a follow-up confirmatory PCR test.
If your daily LFD test result is negative, you do not need to self-isolate. However, further guidance is advised on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread.
More information can be found in Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person. Please note this guidance is updated regularly.
Fully vaccinated refers to having been vaccinated with a Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since receiving the recommended doses of that vaccine.
Self-isolation is when individuals do not leave their home because they have COVID-19 or might have COVID-19 (based on symptoms or being identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive).
The term "significant" refers to statistically significant changes or differences. Significance has been determined using 95% confidence intervals, where instances of non-overlapping confidence intervals between estimates indicate the difference is unlikely to have arisen from random fluctuation. More information is available on our uncertainty web page.Back to table of contents
This is the fourth bulletin in this series, with the survey in its current format and using the current data collection methodology.
The COVID Test and Trace Contacts Behavioural Insights Study aims to understand the behaviour, attitudes and well-being of individuals identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and does not need to self-isolate because they are fully vaccinated. This survey was specifically designed in consultation with Office for National Statistics (ONS) experts to obtain information on this group of people.
Estimates for this survey
The data were collected between 31 January and 5 February 2022. The sample was stratified to be representative of the age, sex and regional distribution of the "contacts not required to self-isolate" population in England. The achieved sample consisted of 1,091 adults.
Percentages in this report are based on weighted counts that are representative of the population of adults (aged 18 years and over) who had received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and were notified as being in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 between 3 and 30 January 2022.
The survey was conducted via telephone and all answers were self-reported. Of those potential respondents who were successfully contacted by an interviewer, the response rate was 70.6%. When including cases where contact was attempted but not made, the response rate was 16.4%. As with all surveys, these estimates have an associated margin of error.
Respondents were randomly sampled through the Contact Tracing and Advice Service (CTAS) database, which is held by NHS Test and Trace. The sample was limited to those who were fully vaccinated, had provided a valid phone number and who had been entered into the CTAS database at the point of sampling. A random stratified sample was selected from a sample frame, which included all contacts whose date of exposure was between 20 and 25 January 2022.Back to table of contents
The main strengths of the COVID Test and Trace Contacts Behavioural Insights Survey include:
timely production of data and statistics that can respond quickly to changing needs, as the questions included are reviewed for each survey wave
the sample was stratified to be representative of the age, sex and regional distribution of the population being sampled and percentages are based on weighted counts representative of the population
quality assurance procedures are undertaken throughout the analysis stages to minimise the risk of error
confidence intervals have been used to determine whether differences across time periods and groups are statistically significant
The main limitations of the COVID Test and Trace Contacts Behavioural Insights Survey include:
the limited period in which fieldwork took place, which meant it was difficult to reach a large number of people and therefore the overall sample size for the survey is limited
the behaviour during the ten days following exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) was self-reported and may be subject to recall bias, which influences how accurately respondents can recall past events and experiences; most interviews took place around ten days following exposure to reduce this bias
the nature of the target population, in which a large proportion of contacts are members of the same household, means that it is possible that the sample could include multiple members of the same household
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 1633 456022