How Long Do Lateral Flow Test Results Take?

How Long Do Lateral Flow Test Results Take?

Lateral flow tests, also known as rapid antigen tests, allow individuals to know about an active infection without needing laboratory processing. However, one question many people have is how long do results take for a lateral flow test.

This article will explore how long it takes to get lateral flow test results and what you can expect when you take a test. 

How Long Do Lateral Flow Test Results Take?

The antibody test detects the antibodies that your immune system produced in the past to combat the coronavirus. Whereas the diagnostic test detects the current situation of the virus in the body. 

The diagnostic tests are a molecular test and an antigen test. 

  • Molecular Tests 

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a molecular test that is considered the gold standard in detecting the presence of a virus in an individual’s DNA. 

For a PCR test, healthcare providers will take a throat swab and nasal swab from the patient. If the samples can be processed on-site, results can be generated in just a few hours. However, if the samples need to be sent away to a lab, it may take from a couple of days to week or more to receive the results.

  • Antigen Tests 

Rapid antigen tests can generate results within minutes, but if you have a virus in low quantity, it might not be able to detect the virus. The antigen tests for personal use give results within an hour. Over-the-counter antigen rapid tests, such as the FlowFlex COVID Test, which is  UK-approved and takes only 15 minutes to show the results, are now available online. 

  • Antibody tests 

Since antibody tests are performed to detect the previous occurrence of the infection, they take a day or more to give results. The healthcare provider collects the blood sample to detect the antibodies in the blood. 

How Accurate Are Lateral Flow Test Results?

The study of top universities, including Harvard and Liverpool University, conclude that lateral flow tests give 80% correct results for COVID-19 infection. The test gives better results if the person has a higher viral load. The UK Health Security Agency spokesperson declared that the chances of getting a false-positive test result with lateral flow test in extremely low, i.e. less than 1 in 1000 tests. 

However, PCR tests are recommended if you get a negative result on LFT but experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. 

What to Do While Waiting for Lateral Flow Test Results?

If you are exposed to the virus or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should isolate yourself and assume yourself infected until the results are confirmed. 

Some things you can do while waiting for your test results include self-quarantine, wearing a mask, practising good hygiene, monitoring your symptoms, and seeking medical attention if necessary. It’s also important to keep yourself occupied by trying indoor activities like meditation or yoga.

It is also important to follow any additional guidance from your healthcare provider or local health department regarding what to do while waiting for your test results.


The COVID-19 test results time varies from a few minutes to hours or days If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, it’s best to get an antigen test. If you take a lateral flow test, results can be generated in minutes. 

The FlowFlex antibody test kit and Healgen’s COVID-19 testing kit are excellent for identifying and limiting disease spread among healthy people.

Shop the high-quality best COVID-19 testing products through HandStations for reliable service and products. 

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