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‘Register on the NHS Test and Trace website’, is the message for Sefton residents contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.

If you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service it means you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Contact will usually be by text, email or phone call so if you see something that is unexpected or official-looking, it’s important you respond to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

No legitimate person contacting you about Test and Trace will ever ask for payment or your bank details.

And if they do contact you, Test and Trace staff don’t care where you’ve been, who you’ve been with and what you’ve been doing. They just want to protect you and other people and prevent the ongoing spread of this deadly virus.

So to stop the spread of coronavirus in Sefton, it is really important you follow the NHS guidance.

If you are contacted, you should visit https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk and register. You will be asked to provide some information, confidentially, about your health and will be given advice to keep yourself and others safe.

The contact tracer is there to help you and will want to make sure you have the right information and support you need to isolate. They will also ask you about the people you have been in contact with and places you have been to help them identify anyone else who may be at risk from contracting Coronavirus.

People aged under-18 will be contacted by phone and a parent or guardian will be asked to give permission for the call to continue.

Once you have registered, you need to begin 14 days of self-isolation from the date of your last contact with the person who has tested positive. This is really important because even if you don’t feel unwell, you could become infectious to others at any point up to 14 days.

Your household won’t have to self-isolate with you if you do not have symptoms, but they will need to take extra care and follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing. They will also need to avoid contact with you at home.

If you do develop coronavirus symptoms – a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste – you must book a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or call 119 if you have no internet access. Other members of your household must self-isolate immediately at home for 14 days.

If your test is positive, you must continue to stay at home for at least 7 days and someone from NHS Test and Trace will get in touch to ask about your recent contacts who will, themselves, need to self-isolate.

If your test is negative, you must still complete your 14-day self-isolation period because the virus may not be detectable yet. This is crucial for avoiding unknowingly spreading the virus.

And remember, a genuine contact tracer on a legitimate test and Trace call will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number (for example, those starting 09 or 087);
  • ask you to make any form of payment;
  • ask for any details about your bank account;
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts;
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone;
  • ask you to purchase a product – including a test;
  • ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet;
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS.

If you receive a call from somebody claiming to be from the NHS, and they ask you to do any of these things, hang up and report the call online to Action Fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040 (Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm) or by contacting the police.