A guide to Test and Trace

Preventing the spread of coronavirus

Everyone can help prevent the spread of coronavirus generally, by following the national guidance on what we can and cannot do, social distancing and washing our hands regularly

Locally we are asking people to stay safe by doing the following

  • stay apart – if you are spending time with others, keep 2 metres apart from people you do not live with, or who are not in your ‘bubble’
  • wash your hands properly and for at least twenty seconds
  • stay home, isolate, get tested. If you have symptoms you should stay home and isolate as soon as you notice symptoms and have no face to face contact with anyone outside of your household. Do this straight away. Everyone in the household should isolate too as they could also be infectious even without symptoms. As soon as you isolate, visit the nhs website or call 119 to book a test. Stay in isolation until you receive your results, which will include instructions on what to do next. Depending on the circumstances, this advice could come from NHS test and trace, PHE health protection team, or from Essex and Southend contact tracing service
  • visit Southend safely - with the Southend Tourism Partnership, we are asking visitors to Southend to do so safely. We have developed a ‘Southend Safe’ scheme ahead of the reopening of the hospitality and leisure industry on 4 July

Symptoms of coronavirus are

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

Getting tested

Tests can be arranged online. More information and guidance on how to self-administer a home test is available on NHS.UK

If you test positive for coronavirus, you must share information promptly about your recent contacts through the NHS test and trace service to help us alert other people who may need to self-isolate.

If you have had close recent contact with someone who has coronavirus, you must self-isolate if you are advised to do so.

Preventing outbreaks and infection control

Where there is higher risk of an outbreak developing, case information will be passed to local teams. There are different protocols for different places or 'settings'.

Identifying those at significant risk of infection and removing them from a place or setting can stop outbreaks developing. By taking action, the spread of coronavirus can be prevented.

In cases where this may happen in schools for example, the contact tracers will contact the head teacher. For a workplace it will be the manager of the workplace who will be contacted. 

As we have done with care homes throughout the pandemic, we are also working with settings such as schools to ensure that they have good infection control plans and measures in place that are regularly checked.

How businesses can help with test and trace

Organisations in certain sectors should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors on their premises to support NHS Test and Trace. More information is available on the GOV.UK website.

If you are a business owner and have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 within your workforce or on your premises, please ensure you immediately call 0300 303 8537 and select Option 1.

This will trigger an immediate response from both East of England Health Protection Team and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

If you would like support and further guidance in this situation, you can also phone 01702 215 005 and speak to our Regulatory Services Team. 

Fines for non-compliance

From 28 September, the Government introduced a new duty on people to self-isolate if someone tests positive or is identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. There are penalties for those who break the rules, including fines on a sliding scale from £1,000 up to a maximum of £10,000 for multiple breaches.

There is also a legal obligation on employers that they must not knowingly enable or encourage their employees to break the law on self-isolation.

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