Test Track and Trace Isolates 27K in its First Week of Operation

Posted on 12th June, 2020


UPDATE 10 JUN 20: "In total, since 28 May 2020: (10,192 people) were reached and ... 87,639 people were identified as close contacts [and asked to self-isolate]  i.e. one anonymous person testing positive results in 9 people in lockdown. (See BOB post)



It seems having friends or going to work could seriously limit your freedom and potentially have you locked-up in self-isolation for 14 days, without warning or discussion. No chance to go on that planned holiday, attend that birth, wedding or funeral.  It may also repeatedly affect your ability to earn an income, provide for your family and/or run a business. According to a BBC article (PDF):

"There were 8,117 people testing positive referred to the scheme in its first week, but just 5,407 of those provided details of recent contacts. Those people provided 31,794 contacts, 26,985 of whom were reached and agreed to self-isolate" i.e. one anonymous person testing positive results in 5 people in lockdown.


"No-one contacted as a result of you testing positive for coronavirus will be told [the originating person's] identity. A parent or guardian will need to give permission for a call with under-18s to continue"  Clearly, this system may be open to incorrect reporting and unnecessary isolation of adults and chidren.


"Close contacts are: people you spend 15 minutes or more with at a distance of less than 2m;  and people you have direct contact with - such as sexual partners, household members or people with whom you have had face-to-face conversations at a distance of less than 1m"  NB: 2m is not a rule (PDF).


Do I have to follow the instruction to self-isolate?


It's currently voluntary, but the Department for Health has said that if people don't comply "we will not hesitate to introduce tougher measures, for example making visits to check they're home or issuing fines if they are found outside the house".


What about sick pay?


If people can't work from home, the government says employers must ensure any self-isolating employee is receiving sick pay and give them the option to use their paid leave days if they prefer."

According to another BBC article (PDF):

The NHS Confederation has already "called for further assurances on the effectiveness of the Test and Trace programme". [See Weston Hospital Closure]


Asked when the government will publish data relating to England's track and trace system, [Business minister Nadhim Zahawi] said statistical experts wanted figures to be "robust" before publication. We will learn the lessons from this, I guarantee you, but we'll do it after we get through this challenge." [Yet decisions, guidance and potentially law is being made in relation to these statistics, including the isolation of 25K people in its first week of operation.]


See previous Check your mobile phone for a Track and Trace API  


See previous Weston Hospital Closed due to COVID19  


See also BOB Coronavirus Information page 


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