The new NHS Test and Trace service has launched across England to help keep the virus under control and enable lockdown to be lifted. Full information can be found here. It is a key part of the Government’s strategy to help the country return to normal as soon as possible in a way that keeps the population safe.
Anyone who tests positive for the virus will be contacted by one of 25,000 contact tracers, to help trace anyone who has had contact with the infected person and ensure they isolate for 14 days. The tracers can track contacts of up to 10,000 new cases a day. All symptomatic people in England can now get tested – symptoms can be reported and a test booked by visiting the NHS website here. More testing will also be available for children to support the reopening of schools. This testing and tracking will be key for monitoring whether the virus is increasing locally or nationally.
All employers are being encouraged to make their workplaces as safe as possible and to encourage any employee with symptoms, or who receives a notification from a contact tracer to isolate at home. Further guidance and support for businesses and employers can be found here and here. A new risk assessment has also been put in place for workplaces and guidance on this can be found here. It is not expected that very large numbers of people will be asked to self-isolate, but the capacity to monitor this is there if necessary, like with the Nightingale Hospitals If you do get a notification though and are told to self-isolate, employees can work from home if it is practicable and they are well enough or, if an employee is unable to work from home, they can receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for every day they are in isolation more information is here and here.
Commenting, Richard stated ‘I am really pleased that the NHS Test and Trace service has been launched for England as it is such an important step towards the country returning to normal and people being able to get back to their lives. It will help keep all of us safe and will ensure that all our care systems and the NHS do not become overwhelmed by monitoring cases of COVID-19 across England. Employers and employees have access to financial and workplace support and anyone with symptoms can now get tested. This will help to keep all of us and our communities safe and allow us to move forward’.
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