Test and Trace: Any Questions?

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We understand that many of you might have questions about the NHS Test and Trace service and we want to make sure you know exactly how this works. As a result, we’ve put together this short animation to give you a better understanding of the process so you know how to keep you and others around you safe.

We are going to be living with Covid-19 for some time which is why following national advice must be part of our everyday lives. If you show any symptoms, no matter how mild, then you should self-isolate and seek a test immediately: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

[Please right click on the image below and 'open new tab/window' for a larger image]


Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, Liz Gaulton sends a message of reassurance to the people of Coventry:

Further information about Test and Trace can be found at Gov.uk and remember, if you’re self-isolating and need support, we may be able to help. See what's available here.

If you have any questions or concerns, we want to hear about these so we can help you to feel reassured and understand what you might need to do. Please ask a question in the Q+A below, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


We understand that many of you might have questions about the NHS Test and Trace service and we want to make sure you know exactly how this works. As a result, we’ve put together this short animation to give you a better understanding of the process so you know how to keep you and others around you safe.

We are going to be living with Covid-19 for some time which is why following national advice must be part of our everyday lives. If you show any symptoms, no matter how mild, then you should self-isolate and seek a test immediately: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

[Please right click on the image below and 'open new tab/window' for a larger image]


Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, Liz Gaulton sends a message of reassurance to the people of Coventry:

Further information about Test and Trace can be found at Gov.uk and remember, if you’re self-isolating and need support, we may be able to help. See what's available here.

If you have any questions or concerns, we want to hear about these so we can help you to feel reassured and understand what you might need to do. Please ask a question in the Q+A below, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

NHS Test and Trace is new, and we want to help you understand it. Please ask us any questions you have about it in the box below, and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

Note: We may answer popular questions publicly so others can benefit - so please choose a username which you are happy being shared.

Do you have any questions about Test and Trace?

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    How does Test and Trace operate in the workplace? With return to more normal working beginning I would like to understand whether we should be keeping day to day records of who is in our building or work area for example?

    Andrew asked 3 months ago

    Thanks for your question.

    Guidance on reopening of businesses can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-reopening.  Data required to facilitate test and trace will largely depend on the nature of the workplace.  If a member of staff tests positive for COVID-19, a risk assessment will be completed on the workplace to assess risk of transmission to other people (including colleagues and members of the public)  

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    You say that Test and Trace will contact me if necessary. How will they know my number? Also how does Test and Trace work for a place of worship; we have been told we need to keep an attendance register but how does it work bwyond that?

    Mig asked 3 months ago

    Hello, thanks for your question,

    The NHS Test and Trace service will contact you if: -

    • You test positive for coronavirus
    • You may have been in contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus


    They will contact you by text messages, email or phone.  No-one contacted will be told the identity of who tested positive.  If you can’t use the internet, you will be contacted by phone instead and asked to provide information to a call handler.  Calls will come from 0300 013 5000. Text messages will come from ‘NHStracing’.

    If you test positive for Covid-19, you – and other members of your household – must continue to self-isolate.  You'll be contacted by text, email or phone by the NHS test and trace service and asked to log on to a website. You’ll be given a unique ID number to log in.  The method of contact will be depend upon the information you provided when you ordered your test. You will be asked to share information about who you live with, places you visited recently and the names and contact details of people you have recently been in close contact with.  

    If you are identified as being a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, the NHS test and trace service will contact you and you’ll be asked to self-isolate and stay at home for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person.  This is because it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear. You may be feeling well and not have any symptoms, but it is still essential for you to follow the advice that you are given by them.  This means do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home. Where possible, try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible.

    If you begin to develop symptoms of coronavirus during your self-isolation, you must order a test. You can order a test by visiting the dedicated Coronavirus NHS website or by calling 119. If that test comes back negative, you must keep self-isolating for 14 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested.

    Your household members and support bubble only need to self-isolate if you have or develop symptoms of Coronavirus.

    In a place of worship setting, the test and trace service will operate in the same way.  By maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors, and sharing these with NHS Test and Trace where requested, this can help us to identify people who may have been exposed to the virus if there were to be a cluster or outbreak of cases in that one venue. Containing outbreaks early is crucial to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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    How can I find out about the risk to a particular area, Foleshill, Coventry, where I will be teaching again from September?

    fish asked 3 months ago

    Data and intelligence are crucial to help Public Health England and local authorities to monitor cases and help to ensure we can develop effective responses to avoid potential outbreaks.  However, we need to be careful about interpreting data as no single piece of data tells the whole story nor provides a definitive figure for exactly how many people could have COVID-19, as many might have a mild illness or be asymptomatic and never been tested.  Higher rates of positive cases might simply reflect higher rates of testing.


    In the event an outbreak is detected in a particular area like Foleshill, we will take early intervention measures to try to stop the spread before it escalates further.  The precise action that will be taken will depend upon the nature, complexity and severity of the outbreak.  Engagement and communication with the community (including schools) located in the area will be an integral part of our response and the measures taken to control the outbreak.


    We acknowledge that this is an anxious time for school staff in England.  The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to ensure that your school is following the guidance set out by the Government which provides a system of controls, principles and infection control processes to work within to effectively minimise risks.  The schools guidance can be found here.  Essential measures include the need to clean hands thoroughly and more often than usual.  This can be done with soap and running water or hand sanitiser. Good respiratory hygiene is also important by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach which is to cover your mouth/ nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze and put used tissues in the bin immediately, washing your hands afterwards. 

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    I am self-employed and not entitled to ESA or any other benefits. Without income I cannot support my family. Are there any income support provisions to support those of us in this position who will have to stop work and lose income for 14 days??

    Chris asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

    There is support for business that is potentially available through the Discretionary Grant scheme: https://www.coventry.gov.uk/coronavirusbusinessdps  In addition, the Coventry & Warwickshire Growth Hub also provides details on a range of support that is available:  www.cwgrowthhub.co.uk  Citizens Advice also have information on help if you are struggling to pay your bills    

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/if-you-cant-pay-your-bills-because-of-coronavirus/  There is also advice and signposting to local support on the Coventry City Council website for those who are struggling financially due to coronavirus https://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/1/council_and_democracy/3551/covid-19_coronavirus/7

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    Will you be told where you came into contact with the individual who has tested positive? What systems is in place to manage or prevent malicious claims being made? If you are notified, do you need to make track and trace who you have been in contact with and would they also be then notified?

    cvabr220 asked 3 months ago

    When the NHS test and trace service contact people to advise them to self-isolate, they do not tell them the identity of the individual who has tested positive.  They may disclose the location if it is relevant and does not expose the identity of the individual with the positive test.


    The NHS test and trace system the system relies on the goodwill and common sense of those involved.  By playing your part you will directly help to contain the virus by reducing its spread. If you are contacted by the NHS test and trace service and you feel that the information they have been provided with is incorrect, you must notify them immediately.  The service will talk you through what you must do whilst they investigate your case. If the test and trace team find that your contact details were given maliciously to cause distress and anxiety, then there are offences under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 that could be reported to the Police to be investigated further. 


    If you develop symptoms, you may wish to alert the people with whom you have had close contact over the last 48 hours. You should tell them that you might have coronavirus but are waiting for a test result.  At this stage (until the test result is known), those people do not need to self-isolate, but they should take extra care in practising social distancing and good hygiene, like washing their hands regularly. They should also watch out for their own symptoms.  If you have alerted them when you first develop symptoms or when you get your test result, they will be better prepared for the advice the NHS test and trace service give them.


    If you are notified as being a contact of a positive case, you’ll be asked to self-isolate and stay at home for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person.  This is because it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear. You may be feeling well and not have any symptoms, but it is still essential for you to follow the advice that you are given by them.  This means do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home. Where possible, try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible.


    If you begin to develop symptoms of coronavirus during your self-isolation, you must order a test. You can order a test by visiting the dedicated Coronavirus NHS website or by calling 119. If that test comes back negative, you must keep self-isolating for 14 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested.


    Your household members and support bubble only need to self-isolate if you have or develop symptoms of coronavirus.

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    Can you face prosecution if you do not isolate after being notified

    cvabr220 asked 3 months ago

    By not adhering to self-isolation and social distancing you are putting the health of other people in your community at risk.  Both the local authority and the police have a variety of powers under legislation such as the Coronavirus Act (2020) to deal with individuals who do not follow social distancing and self isolation rules.


    In order to control the spread of covid-19, it’s important for all of us, that anyone who has been advised to self-isolate actually does so.  If we don’t all play our part in supporting the NHS test and trace service, we could pass the virus to friends and family members and risk another outbreak. This could mean more restricted lockdowns, more time away from our loved ones and sadly more deaths.

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    If you are contacted by text or email, how is it possible to verify that you have been in contact with the individual who has tested positive, if names are not provided.

    cvabr220 asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your questions

    The NHS test and trace service will verify who are close contacts.  They will only contact people to advise them to self-isolate if they have been identified as someone at risk.  You will not know the identity of the individual who has tested positive unless the person has told you themselves.   


    It’s really important to follow the advice of the test and trace service even if you don’t feel unwell because, if you have been infected, you could become infectious to others at any point up to 14 days. Your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you, if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing and avoid contact with you at home. 

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    Why is it some pubs in Coventry are not keeping to the distancing for example my local the Devonshire arms is but other ones are not

    Chris asked 3 months ago

    Licensed premises are responsible for managing the risks on their premises. They demonstrate this via the development of a risk assessment document that should lay down how they will operate and how that operating procedure will mitigate and minimise any risks of transmission. Part of this procedure is the management of social distancing within the premises licensable areas.

    What is the relationship between the guidance and risk assessments?

    The guidance contains information to assist businesses to open safely while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19. It provides practical considerations of how this can be achieved.

    Each business will need to consider the guidance and identify the specific actions it needs to take, depending on the nature of the business, including the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated.

    To help businesses to determine which actions to take, they must carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, just as they would for other health and safety related hazards. They will also need to monitor those actions to make sure they continue to protect customers and workers.

    Who is responsible for enforcing the requirement for a risk assessment?

    Failure to complete a risk assessment which takes account of COVID-19 or completing a risk assessment but failing to put in place sufficient measures to manage the risk of COVID-19, could constitute a breach of health and safety law. The enforcing authority in respect of these matters is the Health and Safety Executive or the local authority.

    What action can be taken for non-compliance with the risk assessment requirements?

    The actions available to the enforcing authority (Health and Safety Executive or the local authority) include the provision of specific advice to businesses to support them to achieve the required standard or issuing enforcement notices. Serious breaches and failure to comply with enforcement notices can constitute a criminal offence, with a fine and imprisonment on conviction.

    Who is responsible for enforcing the regulations?

    The government guidance on the closure of businesses and premises envisages that local authorities, through their environmental health and trading standards officers will monitor compliance with the regulations, with police support provided if appropriate.

    What enforcement action can be taken for non-compliance with the regulations?

    The government has said that when local authorities enforce the regulations, it is important that businesses are clear on what to do and are dealt with fairly and in a proportionate way.

    The approach of the police to enforcement of the regulations in England and Wales will be in accordance with the “four E’s” principle:

    • Engage,

    • Explain,

    • Encourage, and

    • Enforce.

    Enforcement should be a last resort, businesses and venues that breach the regulations may be subject to prohibition notices, and a person who is 18 or over, carrying on a business in contravention of the regulations may be issued with a fixed penalty.

    With the support of the police, prohibition notices can be used to require compliance with the Regulations including requiring that an activity cease. It is also an offence, without reasonable excuse, to fail to comply with a prohibition notice.

    If prohibition notices are not complied with, or fixed penalty notice not paid, a prosecution may be instigated, with magistrates able to impose potentially unlimited fines.

    Any premises that are not abiding by the above, can be reported to the local authority via the reporting methods on their website.

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    Why is it that we’re expected to fork over a significant amount of personal information to a faceless company that will inevitably sell it on to the highest bidder and none of that money ending up in the public purse?

    GuitarGuy asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

    Your information will be used to help identify anyone you’ve been in close contact with and might have spread the virus to. Anyone you've been in close contact with will be told to stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.  

    All information you provide to the NHS test and trace service is held in strict confidence and will only be kept and used in line with the Data Protection Act 2018.  Your personal information disclosed to the NHS test and trace service will not be sold to other companies or used for any other purpose.

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    Is it now expected that anyone and everyone with symptoms get a test? Before it was just for key workers.

    Roo77 asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

    Yes.  Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) can get a free test to check if they have the virus. 

    You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.  If you do not have symptoms, you can only get a test if your hospital has told you to.

    If you are getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must stay at home (self-isolate) until you get your result.  Anyone in your support bubble must also self-isolate until you get your result.