People who have had close contact with someone found to have Covid-19 are being traced and asked to self-isolate for a fortnight.
In England, the emphasis is on local public health teams contacting those who may be infected, although a second attempt at a tracing app is currently being piloted.
But what happens if a neighbour or someone who went to the same pub or restaurant as you tests positive?
What happens if I develop symptoms?
There you must give personal information, including:
- name, date of birth and postcode
- who you live with
- places you visited recently
- names and contact details of people you have recently been in close contact with
- people you’ve spent 15 minutes or more with at a distance of less than 2m (6ft)
- sexual partners, household members or people you have had face-to-face conversations with at a distance of less than 1m
Contact must have taken place within a nine-day period, starting 48 hours before symptoms appeared.
No-one contacted will be told your identity.
How do the tracers get in touch with people?
Contact tracers are now being redeployed to work alongside local public health teams.
If you can’t be reached through calls and texts, tracers may knock on your door. If you live in an area experiencing a coronavirus outbreak, they may also visit you to inform you of local testing facilities.
If you are approached because one of your contacts has tested positive, you must stay at home for 14 days from your last point of contact with them.
Others in your household won’t have to self-isolate unless they also develop symptoms, but must take extra care around you regarding social distancing and handwashing.
Must I provide contact details if eating out?
Giving personal information is voluntary and it is not the venue’s responsibility to ensure it’s correct.
How is the tracing scheme going?
The prime minister claimed the UK’s test and trace system would be “world-beating.” But it has encountered several problems since its launch in May.
Of the people referred to the contact tracing system between 13-19 August, 72.6% were reached and asked for a list of their contacts, down from 79% the week before.
While the public health teams dealing with local outbreaks have consistently reached more than 90% of these contacts, the national call centre’s success rate peaked at just over 70% in July.
What about other parts of the UK?
How do I avoid scammers?
England’s NHS Test and Trace service will call only from 0300 0135 000. It will not ask you:
- for bank details/payments
- for details of any other accounts, such as social media
- to set up a password or PIN over the phone
- to call a premium-rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087
What about sick pay?