Brits told to self-isolate will have details given to cops by track and trace scheme in covid clampdown

COPS will be given access to the details of people told to self-isolate by the government’s Test and Trace scheme.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHCS) said police forces will have access “on a case-by-case” basis to information, enabling them to know if an individual has been told to self-isolate.

Those who fail to do so face fines starting at £1,000 and increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offenders
Police will be granted access on a ‘case by case’ basis

It comes as the DHSC updated its online guidance on Friday about how coronavirus testing data will be handled.

People who fail to self-isolate “without reasonable justification” could have their name, address and contact details passed on to their local authority and then to the police, the DHSC’s website said.

“This may lead to enforcement action being taken against you, which could include you being fined,” the online guidance said.

“A police force may request information relating to positive Covid-19 tests from the NHS Test & Trace programme directly, where they are investigating a report of someone who may not be complying with the mandatory self-isolation period,”

The Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported that the office of England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, feared the move would put people off from being tested.

Last month, the Government’s science advisers warned the promised world-beating Test and Trace system was having only a “marginal impact”.

At least 165 consultants from other firms are being drafted in to help with the new “moonshot” testing programme to deliver coronavirus test results in 15 minutes.

People in England are legally required to self-isolate if they test positive for Covid-19.

Those who fail to do so face fines starting at £1,000 and increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offenders or serious breaches, the DHSC said.

People who have received a positive test must isolate for 10 days after displaying symptoms or their test date if they do not have symptoms, while members of their household must isolate for 14 days.

A DHSC spokesperson said: “It is a legal requirement for people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and their close contacts to self-isolate when formally notified to do so.

“The Department of Health and Social Care has agreed a memorandum of understanding with the National Police Chiefs Council to enable police forces to have access on a case-by-case basis to information that enables them to know if a specific individual has been notified to self-isolate.

“The memorandum of understanding ensures that information is shared with appropriate safeguards and in accordance with the law. No testing or health data is shared in this process.”

A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesperson said: “Policing continues to play its part in helping limit the spread of Coronavirus.

“We will continue to encourage voluntary compliance but will enforce regulations and issue FPNs (fixed penalty notices) where appropriate and necessary.

“Where people fail to self-isolate and refuse to comply officers can issue FPNs and direct people to return to self-isolation.

“Officers will engage with individuals to establish their circumstances, using their discretion wherever it is reasonable to do so.”

Britain is set to carry out a million coronavirus tests a day by Christmas.

The results could be given in as little as 15 minutes as the government has reportedly spent £500 million in the past fortnight on new laboratory-based testing machines.

That will more than triple the current capacity of around 300,000 tests a day.

Another 15,650 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus but new cases are down by a sixth on yesterday – raising hopes that new infections are steadying.

In September the Government launched what it called Operation Moonshot with the ambition of getting the entire population of the UK tested in a week.

People in England are legally required to self-isolate if they test positive for Covid-19