The new NHS Test and Trace system, which was outlined by the Government last night, comes into effect today in England. Under the Test and Trace system, those who have to self-isolate are entitled to be paid statutory sick pay (SSP) under The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020.
As from today, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by phone, text or email and they will need to provide the names of those who they have come into contact with. Those people will then be informed that they have to self-isolate for 14 days and will be eligible to claim SSP (£95.85 per week) from day one of isolation (this was previously the case for those who had to self-isolate as a direct result of the coronavirus and were claiming SSP).
Those who will need to be informed that they have come into contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus includes people who have been in direct contact with the person or within two metres contact, for over 15 minutes.
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, commented:
“As we move to the next stage of our fight against coronavirus, we will be able to replace national lockdowns with individual isolation and, if necessary, local action where there are outbreaks.
“NHS Test and Trace will be vital to stopping the spread of the virus. It is how we will be able to protect our friends and family from infection, and protect our NHS.
“This new system will help us keep this virus under control while carefully and safely lifting the lockdown nationally.”
It has also been confirmed that roughly 2,500 people have been employed to support the Test and Trace system. These people will be tasked with tracing the contacts of those who test positive for the coronavirus, which is believed to be 10,000 people a day.
The new app, which will further support the Test and Trace system, is still being developed and is currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight.
If you are an employer and want to check if you can claim back SSP paid to employees due to the coronavirus, click here.