Coronavirus (COVID-19): Public health advice

Test and trace

Test and trace guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms.

How test and trace works

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within two metres for more than 15 minutes.

People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.

Members of their household will not have to stay at home unless the person identified becomes symptomatic, at which point they must also self-isolate for 14 days to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

Anyone with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste is asked to immediately report these symptoms and book a test.

Read an overview of the test and trace service

Test and Trace app

Protect your loved ones with the official NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app for England and Wales.

It's the fastest way of knowing when you're at risk from coronavirus. The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones, and your community.

The more of us that use it, the better we can control coronavirus.

Protect your loved ones. Please download the app.

Find out more and how to download the app

Test and Trace support payment scheme to launch soon

You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the Test and Trace support payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate.

As a local authority, we will be putting arrangements in place to make these payments, with further details to be made available soon.

You will be eligible if you live in England and meet all the following criteria:

  • you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you cannot work from home and will lose income as a result
  • you are claiming at least one of the following benefits: universal credit, working tax credits, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income support, pension credit or housing benefit