Full list of who is exempt from self-isolation if ‘pinged’ in Sheffield
Last week alone, more than 600,000 people were pinged to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app as cases in England soared.
Some critical workers, however, are exempt from the requirement to self-isolate even when 'pinged' by the app, as long as they are fully vaccinated.
This is part of the Government's framework for exemption for some critical workers employed in a number of key industries to prevent serious disruption to vital public services.
But this is not a blanket exemption, as the Government stressed it only applies to some fully vaccinated workers in recognised workplaces who have had their final vaccine dose at least 14 days ago.
The NHS Covid app was created to help in the test and trace efforts in managing the pandemic by reducing Covid infection rates.
It works by notifying people if they have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus and asks them to self-isolate.
The app uses Bluetooth to detect the distance between users and the duration of time spent in the possible exposure zone.
However, frontline workers such as police, fire and Border Force employees, will be able to avoid quarantine regardless of vaccine status even if they are a close contact of a positive Covid case thanks to more workplace testing.
Double-vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff in England who have been told to self-isolate will also be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances.
This will include staff who have been contacted as a ‘close contact’ by NHS Test and Trace, or advised to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app, in a bid to alleviate pressure on NHS and social care services.
The following are the sectors who may be exempt from Covid isolation, with the Government expected to add more in due course.
Border control Clinical consumable supplies Civil nuclear Digital infrastructure Emergency services Essential defence outputs Energy Essential transport Essential chemicals Food production and supply Local government Medicines Medical devices Veterinary medicines Water Waste
What should I do if I am pinged by the NHS Covid app?
It is not a legal requirement to self isolate and get a test if you are told to do so via the NHS Covid-19 app when you have been in close contact with someone.
However, the government advice is that you should self-isolate for the full period, even if you display no symptoms and even if you test negative.
If symptoms are developed during the 10-day period, you should use the symptom checker in the app to find out if it could be coronavirus.
If the app confirms you may have coronavirus, you will be directed to a website where you can book a test.
If you have symptoms, you and anyone in your household or support bubble will have to stay at home until you’ve been tested.
Sheffield Council warned this week that ‘decisions will have to be taken’ if the number of staff self-isolating continues to rise.
Once your result is received, you will be advised on your next course of action.
Find out more about the guidance here.