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This page provides links to the latest information about coronavirus, what you should do if you have any concerns and what you can do to help prevent the spread of viruses like coronavirus.

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Government advice

The latest government advice is for anyone with any of the following symptoms to self-isolate at home for 10 days and get tested:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test.

If you’re pregnant, have a long-term health condition, weakened immune system or are over 70, you should follow stringent hand and respiratory hygiene and follow the social distancing recommendations in the official government guidance.

When to self-isolate

You should self-isolate:

  • If you have symptoms
  • If you live with someone who has symptoms
  • If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace as being in contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus

If you live with someone who has symptoms and is self-isolating for 10 days, you need to self-isolate for 10 days from the first day they got symptoms.

If you develop symptoms during these 10 days, you should self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the day these symptoms start or until 48 hours after you have not had a temperature above 37.8C without taking medication to reduce it – whichever is longer. You should do this even if it means you’re at home for longer than 10 days overall.

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace (this can be by email, text or phone) as being in contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus, you will need to follow their advice regarding self-isolation. Should you require evidence of being required to self-isolate please follow the instructions on getting an isolation note.

If you believe you have been in contact with someone outside your household who has tested positive for coronavirus but have not been contacted by NHS Test and Trace, there is no need for you and your household to self-isolate unless you develop symptoms. If you develop symptoms, you must self-isolate and arrange for a test. Those in your household must begin to self-isolate whilst you wait for your test result.

The NHS has guidance on how you should self-isolate at home and advice for helping to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus.

Coming in to work

From 19 July the Government will no longer instruct people to work from home. Instead it is stressing the need to maintain caution and recommending a gradual return to workplaces over the summer. This is what we are preparing for and in the meantime it remains that if you have been working from home you should continue to do so, unless your manager has advised you that you are required to return to the office.

If you have been advised to return to the office for essential work that cannot be done remotely, but you refuse to attend or perform the task then this may constitute unauthorised absence or partial performance, where you are only prepared to carry out certain tasks rather than your full range of duties. This could lead to disciplinary action.

If all options have been exhausted and you continue to refuse to attend work or refuse to carry out certain duties, then it may be justified for your pay to be stopped. Your manager should explain your contractual obligations and the potential consequence should you continue to refuse to work.

If you have a complaint over how something has been handled, we would encourage staff to raise any issues or concerns informally with their line manager in the first instance. Where this is not possible, matters can be raised with HR to assess whether there are other means of addressing issues informally, such as through mediation or restorative practice.

NHS COVID-19 app

The NHS COVID-19 app uses Apple and Google Exposure Notifications when ‘exposure logging’ is switched on. Apple or Google may send you default notifications.

These default notifications may be called “COVID-19 Exposure Logging” or “COVID-19 Exposure Notifications”.  They show that the functionality of the app is on and working.  Sometimes it may seem as though these messages disappear, or you cannot click into them. There is no need to be concerned if you miss or overlook them – you only need to self-isolate if you get a notification directly from the NHS COVID-19 app and this notification will not ‘disappear’ when you click it.

It is not currently possible to turn off these default Apple and Google notifications. All important messages from the COVID-19 app will always be visible to you from within the app.

Here is a summary for common questions related to the NHS Covid-19 app:

  • Notifications from the NHS COVID-19 app

You should always follow the advice given to you within the NHS COVID-19 app. If you have been in close contact with a positive COVID case the message will read “The app has detected that you have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus. Please stay at home and self-isolate to keep yourself and others safe.”

When you open the app it will tell you that you need to self-isolate.

  • Automated notifications from Apple

No action is required if your NHS COVID-19 app is not asking you to self-isolate.

The message will read: “Possible COVID-19 exposure. Verifying exposure info. The app has accessed the date, duration and signal strength of this exposure.”

  • Automated messages from Android/Google

No action is required if your NHS COVID-19 app is not asking you to self-isolate.

The message will read “Possible COVID-19 exposure. Someone you were near reported having COVID-19. Exposure date, duration, and signal strength have been saved.”

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