One in five does not respond to test and trace in Havering, says council

Infection rates are on the rise. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Infection rates are on the rise. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Havering Council has announced its plans to step up test and trace as well as a £500 “Havering Helps” package to support residents asked to self-isolate due to coronavirus.

The latest plans are to ensure those who have tested positive for the virus but have not responded to contact from the national test and trace service to ensure they are self-isolating.

The council is now reaching these people via phone, email or text message. If they still do not respond, council officers will visit their last known address to speak to them directly.

Havering Council’s leader, councillor Damian White, said: “Local knowledge and intelligence is playing a vital role across the country to help the NHS and Trace system.

“One in every five people contacted do not respond to calls but they must self-isolate and not doing so if they have tested positive is an offence punishable by a sizeable fine. We have to beat this disease and staying in isolation is one of the ways we do this. That’s why our Havering Helps funding will provide support for people who cannot work from home or work as normal due to self-isolation.

“Not doing so can put people at harm, especially the elderly and vulnerable. Our enforcement team, working with the police, will not hesitate in enforcing the rules to save people’s lives. I urge people to respond if they are contacted and not to think that they can carry on with their normal lives. Cases are steadily rising in London, and if we don’t do something now we may have a miserable Christmas and not be able to see our loved ones.

Residents being contacted by Havering Council should see the telephone numbers 0203 9281402 or 01708 434343 come up when contacted. Nobody the council contacts will be asked for any new personal data or any other information such as bank details.

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Residents who must self-isolate, are unable to work from home, who are losing income, and who are claiming qualifying benefits or working tax credit, are eligible for a £500 ‘Test and Trace Support’ payment.

If residents are suspicious about a call, they can hang up and contact the council’s Covid-19 hotline on 0800 368 5201 line. Or they can phone the main Council switchboard on 01708 434343 and the call can then be transferred. Or email: for confirmation. If residents visited at home by a council officer, who will carry identification with them, they can call the numbers above for confirmation.

People living in Havering and have been instructed by the NHS to self-isolate and meet the eligibility criteria mentioned above, can email and they will be contacted by the middle of this month to complete an online application form.

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