Coronavirus Test and Trace & Antibody testing FAQs
NHS Test and Trace
What is Test and Trace?
Test and Trace means that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS and asked to share information about their recent interactions with other people.
This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
What happens then?
Those people identified as having been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test result must then stay at home for 14 days.
They must do this even if they do not have symptoms, to prevent them spreading the virus without knowing.
What happens if those people in isolation develop symptoms?
People in isolation who develop symptoms can book their own test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for 7 days or until their symptoms have passed.
If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.
What about other members of those peoples’ households?
Other 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.
What are the symptoms I should look out for?
If you develop a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste you should immediately report these symptoms and book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus.
If I am told to stay at home, will I be eligible for sick pay?
The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that those having to self-isolate will be eligible for statutory sick pay if they are unable to work from home.
If I am contacted by Test and Trace, how will I know what to do?
The Government has said that people who are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service will be given clear information explaining what they must do and how they can access local support if needed.
Guidance is also available online at gov.uk/coronavirus.
What local support is available?
Local support can include things like:
- Urgent Food delivery
- Local Food shop delivery information
- General help with loneliness – A friendly call
- Prescription collection
- Help to get online, we can support you with your Wi-Fi Connection, Emails, Online Shopping and Skype and Zoom Calls to stay connected with friends and family
- Access to YouTube so you can watch things like cookery demonstrations, exercise workouts etc.
Are Antibody tests available?
The Government has announced it is starting Antibody testing for the virus.
Initially these will be for NHS staff and patients who suspect they may have had Covid-19. Also, people who are already having blood taken as part of other tests (either in hospital or in their GP practice) will be asked whether they would like an antibody test.
This will include some of the large number of Sefton residents who work for the NHS.
What are the tests for?
The tests are to help scientists learn about the level and length of immunity following infection.
It will also tell them how the virus is spreading across the country.
What does a positive Antibody test mean?
A positive Antibody test result indicates that the person has previously had the virus and may have developed some form of immune response
Does a positive Antibody test mean you are immune from Covid-19?
It is not yet known how long the antibody response lasts or whether it means the person cannot transmit the virus to others.
Finding this out is part of the reason for the test.
Does a positive Antibody test mean you are safe to go out as normal?
A positive result will not be a kind of ‘immunity passport’.
The government has made clear that anyone testing positive will still be required to comply with social distancing measures and other guidelines e.g. when to wear masks.
When will Antibody tests be available to more people?
The Government has said it plans to extend Antibody testing to other groups beyond later in the summer.