Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the service and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
From 16 August, those who are fully vaccinated* (14 days after their final dose) will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case. Close contacts who are fully vaccinated will be advised, as now, to take a PCR test as soon as possible, so that they can have certainty about their condition.
In line with the approach for adults, anyone under the age of 18 who is a close contact of a positive case will no longer need to self-isolate. Instead, they will be given advice about whether to get tested, dependent on their age, and will need to self-isolate only if they test positive. In most cases individuals will be advised to take a PCR test. These measures will also come into force on 16 August, ahead of the autumn school term.
*Individuals are fully vaccinated when they are two weeks post-completion of a full course of an authorised vaccine administered in the UK. This is to allow for an antibody response to develop. You need both doses of a two-dose vaccine for maximum protection against COVID-19. You must have been fully vaccinated at the time of the contact with the positive case. If you haven’t been fully vaccinated, you will still need to self-isolate if you are identified as the close contact of a positive case, unless you are under 18.
NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app
The NHS test and trace app is for anyone aged 16 or over who lives in England or Wales.
The app runs on proven software developed by Apple and Google, designed so that nobody will know who or where you are. And you can delete your data, or the app, at any time.
It has a number of features:
- Trace: find out when you’ve been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus.
- Alert: lets you know the level of coronavirus risk in your postcode district.
- Check-in: get alerted if you’ve visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus, using a simple QR code scanner. No more form filling.
- Symptoms: check if you have coronavirus symptoms and see if you need to order a test.
- Test: helps you order a test if you need to.
- Isolate: keep track of your self-isolation countdown and access relevant advice.