Test and Trace is a new system designed to help control the ‘reproduction’ rate of coronavirus. This is the ‘R’ rate you may have heard about. The ‘R’ number means how many other people someone with coronavirus will likely pass the illness onto.
How it helps:
Once someone has tested positive for coronavirus, they should self-isolate along with their family.
Anyone outside of their household they have spent time with may have been exposed to the illness. By establishing who they are, they too can be asked to self-isolate and reduce the risk of infection being passed on further.
It’s essentially a targeted form of lockdown – based on symptoms, positive tests and potential exposure to the illness. In turn, it’s hoped that this will mean restrictions can begin to be lifted for everyone else.
How it works:
If you have symptoms:
- Self-isolate with your household and order a test via the NHS website or call 119.
- The Test and Trace service will contact you with your result by text, email or phone call. If the test is negative, you no longer need to self-isolate.
- If positive, you’ll be asked to supply details of people you’ve been around and places you’ve been to recently. You’ll either be asked to do this via a secure website, or you’ll be called.
If you’ve been in close contact with some who has tested positive:
- The Test and Trace service will contact you and explain you may have been exposed to the illness.
- You should self-isolate for 14 days from your first contact with the person who tested positive, even if you don’t have symptoms.
- If you do develop symptoms, request a test via the NHS website or call 119.
- If you test negative, you must complete your 14 day self-isolation. This is because the illness may not have been detectable when you were tested.
- If you test positive, you’ll be asked to list the people you’ve been around and places you’ve visited. Those people will then in turn be contacted.
How to know if a call, text or email is genuine:
- Calls from genuine contact tracers will show as from 0300 013 500
- Text messages will be sent by ‘NHS’.
- You’ll be asked to sign into this website: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk. You should not be asked to access any website that’s not run either part of NHS.uk or a gov.uk site.
- You will NEVER be asked to call a premium number beginning 07 or 09.
- NO financial details or payments are involved in this process and no genuine contact tracer will ask for them.
- You will NOT be asked for details of your social media accounts.
- You will NOT be asked for passwords or PINs over the phone, or asked to set them up.
- NO software needs to be installed on your device, nor should you be asked to hand over control of your device to anyone.