Before, if you had Covid-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate. Now, if you get a call from the NHS, you must self-isolate whether you have symptoms or NOT.
Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, had announced the launch of the NHS Test and Trace system. Hancock had also said that anyone with the novel coronavirus will have their contacts traced in order to control the spread of it. This seems like a breach of privacy to me.
Additionally, the Health Secretary had said that the test and trace system was a national effort and that everyone's "have a role....." He also warned that the system is voluntary but will become "mandatory" if it comes to it. We do all realise that this is exactly the way that new laws that take away more of your freedoms are ushered in. But, I digress.
"If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace instructing you to isolate you must. It is your civic duty, so you avoid unknowingly spreading the virus and you help to break the chain of transmission. This will be voluntary at first because we trust everyone to do the right thing, but we can quickly make it mandatory if that's what it takes". Matt Hancock had then said if the public doesn't take the test and trace system work collectively, then the only way forward is to keep the lockdown.
This system, of getting a call from the NHS and immediately going into self-isolation, will start at 9 am on Thursday. The first people to be contacted will be those who have tested positive on Wednesday.
The workings of the system were explained by Baroness Dido Harding. She said that the public needs to follow three steps. The first one being immediately self-isolating if you have developed symptoms. These symptoms are "a fever, a new, continuous cough or loss of your sense of taste or smell,"
The next step is to book a test on the NHS site or dial 119. If you do test positive, you'll be contacted by the NHS within 24 hours.
The Baroness had added that the compliance with the test and trace system is 'vital' in order to lift the lockdown measures.
The last step is for them to gather information of who you've come into close contact with in order to know who you could've infected. These people include the members of your family and someone you've been within 2 meters of for more than 15 minutes. So they say.
The NHS will then be in touch with these contacts. "So if you’ve been exposed to an infected person, they will be in contact with you". You will then be told to self-isolate for 2 weeks - despite the fact that you may feel perfectly well. The Baroness had then said, "You need to follow these instructions. This individual and collective effort is vital if we’re to keep the rate of infection down and carefully lift the lockdown".