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NHS Test & Trace: new laws, support payments and more

From Monday 28 September in England, there will be a new legal duty on all those who test positive for COVID-19.

The new laws will also apply to those who are identified by NHS Test and Trace or local public health teams as a ‘close contact’, requiring them to self-isolate.

The new requirements are joined by a new Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, to be administered by local authorities, for people on low incomes who are unable to work while they are self-isolating because they cannot work from home.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must:

● have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;

● be employed or self-employed;

● be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result;

AND

● be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

The Support Payment Scheme will support these individuals and is expected to run until 31 January 2021.

Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum.

Cllr Janette Williamson on behalf of Wirral Council said: “Ensuring that Wirral residents who need to self-isolate, are able to, is vital to reducing the spread of COVID-19 - across our borough and indeed the rest of the country.

“Protecting yourself and those around you from Coronavirus or being able to put food on the table shouldn’t be a choice that anyone has to make.

“Our teams are working through the details to ensure our eligible residents are supported as swiftly and as efficiently as possible.”

The changes will come into effect on Monday 28 September 2020, alongside the legal duty to self-isolate. Local authorities are expected to have their systems in place by Monday 12 October; individuals who are eligible prior to that date will be able to make a backdated claim.

For the latest guidance on when to self-isolate and how long for, click here.

You can also download the NHS COVID-19 app for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. To find out more, including about how people’s privacy and data is protected, visit covid19.nhs.uk/

Please note: The Government announced that failure to adhere to these new regulations carrying a fine of at least £1,000 and up to £10,000 for multiple breaches.