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NHS Test and Trace: if you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus

Follow this advice if you're told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus (COVID-19).

Stay at home for 14 days

If you're told you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus:

  • stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person – it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear
  • do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care
  • try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
  • people you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms
  • people in your support bubble do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms
What is a support bubble?

A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from 1 other household.

Find out more about meeting people from outside your household on GOV.UK.

If you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days.

If you have to stay in the same home together, read about how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with.

If you get symptoms of coronavirus

If you get any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste):

  • get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible
  • anyone you live with must self-isolate until you’ve been tested and received your result
  • anyone in your support bubble must self-isolate until you’ve been tested and received your result

What to do when you get your test result

If you test negative (the test did not find coronavirus):

  • keep self-isolating for 14 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested
  • anyone you live with can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms
  • anyone in your support bubble can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms

If you test positive (you have coronavirus):

  • self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started – even if it means you're self-isolating for longer than 14 days
  • anyone you live with must self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started
  • anyone in your support bubble must self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started

Read more about when to self isolate and what to do.

If you do not get symptoms of coronavirus

If you do not have any symptoms of coronavirus:

  • you can stop self-isolating after 14 days
  • you do not need to have a test

How NHS Test and Trace will contact you

You'll be contacted by email, text or phone.

Text messages will come from NHStracing. Calls will come from 0300 0135000.

Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian's permission to continue the call.

You'll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.

If you cannot use the contact tracing website, they will call you.

Important

The NHS Test and Trace service will not:

  • ask for bank details or payments
  • ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087
Information:

More about NHS Test and Trace

GOV.UK: NHS Test and Trace – how it works

Page last reviewed: 7 August 2020
Next review due: 14 August 2020