New changes to Covid testing and self-isolation rules in Wales have been announced.

With immediate effect, unvaccinated contacts of people with Covid no longer need to take a PCR test, and should take lateral flow tests on days two and eight instead, to help free up PCR capacity.

From Thursday (January 6) people will also no longer need to take a PCR test to confirm the result of a lateral flow test unless they are clinically vulnerable.

Because of the prevalence of Covid at the moment, false positives are less common, Health Minister Eluned Morgan said.

In a statement, she added: "As the omicron wave sweeps across the country demand for PCR testing has reached unprecedented levels across the UK. This has resulted in the UK Health Security Agency constraining bookings at times to avoid exceeding the UK programme laboratory capacity and compromising turnaround times for results.

"Since Christmas Day, daily bookings at tests sites across Wales have reached up to 28,000 – a record high.

"I have agreed some immediate changes to the PCR testing system that will help reduce pressure and help increase access for those who have symptoms and need to book a test."

The moves are expected to reduce demand for PCR tests by between five and 15 per cent.

"Without a follow up PCR tests it is even more important for people to report the result of every lateral flow test they do and self-isolate as soon as they test positive," Ms Morgan added.

"Without reporting, contact tracing will not be possible, nor will advice and support be provided by the system.

"We need everyone to continue to play their part in disrupting the transmission of Covid-19 by reporting their lateral flow test results on the website or by calling 119.

"Positive results from lateral flow tests already flow into the Wales contact tracing system to speed up the contact and support required to help all those who need to self-isolate."

While there is no current supply issues with lateral flow tests, the Welsh Government is working with the UKHSA to improve the supply.