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Within 24 hours of testing positive for COVID-19 you should be contacted regarding the NHS Test and Trace programme. If you are using the NHS Test and Trace app, you will be notified through that.

How it works

Tracing everyone who may have been in direct contact with someone with COVID-19 is an essential part of preventing the spread of the virus.

Full information about the Test and Trace programme is available on the NHS website.

Initial contact

The text and/or email will contain instructions on how to share details of the people you have been in close, recent contact with. This includes your household, as well as people you have been in direct contact with, or within 2 metres of, for more than 15 minutes.

You will also need to advise them of places you have recently visited, who you have been in close contact with two days prior to becoming ill, and where you had been 5 days before your symptoms started.

If they cannot get in contact with you

Richmond is supporting the NHS Test and Trace Programme with local case tracing. This means that if you test positive for COVID-19 and the NHS Test and Trace team do not get hold of you in the first 24 hours, your details will be passed on for our Regulatory Services team to make contact with you. We need your speedy cooperation to help us do this.

Our staff will then send you an email and text message encouraging you to speak to us. We’ll also call you the same day. Our phone number is a local number starting with 020 8274, ​so you’ll know it’s us. We’ll also email you using

Visiting you at your home

Your health and wellbeing and controlling the spread of the virus are important to us, so if we don’t get hold of you by phone, we may send someone out to visit you.

Our officers will be wearing a Council name badge and will provide you with information on how you can get access to help and support and also encourage you to speak to one of our call handlers. We won’t try to enter your home or ask you any questions on your doorstep.

Local case tracing and support

Richmond is carrying out local case tracing as it is really important that we do everything we can to help prevent the spread of the virus whilst making sure our residents are supported and cared for. We will:

  • Give you advice around self-isolating to ensure that any further transmission of the virus is controlled
  • Offer support and assistance to you and your household including how you can access voluntary support and isolation support payments
  • Give you advice on the government’s requirements and guidelines for you and your household
  • Help identify anyone who you may have accidentally passed the virus on to  
  • Look to identify where you may have caught the virus from.

How to spot fake Case or Contact Tracers

The NHS Test and Trace service and our Local Case Tracers will never ask you:

  1. For bank details or payments
  2. For details of any other accounts, such as social media
  3. To set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  4. To call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

If you are concerned that you have been approached by a fake case tracers please report this to us at


Self-isolating means staying at home to prevent spreading COVID-19 to other people and the wider community, particularly those at increased risk such as the elderly and people with existing health conditions. When self-isolating, you must remain at home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis.

Nobody should go out even to buy food or other essentials, and any exercise must be taken within your home. If you are struggling and need assistance when self-isolating, we can help put you in touch with organisations who can assist you.

You should also avoid contact as much as possible with other members of your household. You will need to self-isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms if symptomatic, 10 days from the date of a positive test if asymptomatic. More advice on self-isolation and specific circumstances is available on GOV.UK.

From Monday 28 September 2020 it became a legal requirement to self-isolate if you or someone you have been in close contact with test positive for COVID-19.

You need to self-isolate if you:

  • Test positive for COVID-19
  • Live in the same household as someone who has tested positive
  • Experience symptoms of COVID-19 and are in the process of arranging a test
  • Are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and informed that you have been in recent close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Arrive in England from a country that requires you to self-isolate.

Help when self-isolating

If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. If you don’t have anyone who can help you, then please talk to us. Find out more about the help and support we can offer.

Updated: 14 April 2021

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