Play your part in protecting others against coronavirus this summer

People across Welwyn Hatfield are being encouraged to play their part in protecting others from coronavirus this summer by supporting test and trace and following new self-isolation rules.

Military testing

With some people arriving home from holidays and others enjoying day trips or breaks in Hertfordshire to enjoy the countryside or local tourist attractions, testing and isolating is essential to prevent the virus taking hold and threatening more lives.

In light of strengthening evidence that people with COVID-19 can remain infectious for nine days after feeling unwell, the self-isolation period for those with symptoms has now increased to 10 days. Anyone with symptoms should get tested immediately.

Booking and taking a test is quick and simple with sites available widely across the county and you will often get your results in less than 24 hours.

You can see where your nearest testing centre is and book a site or a home test at www.gov.uk/coronavirus. Anyone who does not have access to the internet can contact the telephone call centre on 119 between 7am and 11pm. If you have hearing or speech difficulties the number to call is 18001 0300 303 2713.

Positive cases are being followed up by the NHS Test and Trace service. For Test and Trace to be effective in preventing the spread of the virus, people need to give details of their close contacts to the service. Any close contacts who hear from the service must follow their advice and self-isolate to contain the virus and protect others.

Those returning from named countries must self-isolate for 14 days - whether or not they have symptoms - under new legislation to guard against a rise in UK infection levels. Jim McManus, Hertfordshire County Council's Director of Public Health, said:

For anyone living in or visiting Hertfordshire with symptoms indicating coronavirus - a high temperature, new persistent cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - it's vitally important to get a test. The health of our residents is our absolute priority and self-isolation after visiting countries like Spain, which have an elevated number of cases, will limit any potential spread within Hertfordshire. We can all play a part in keeping levels low by getting tested and self-isolating if we need to.

As well as controlling the spread of the virus, test results also help to monitor infection levels. The data from the tests informs UK public health monitoring and helps public health officials from the county council to understand the risk that Covid-19 poses in any area at any one time.