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Test, Trace, Protect

woman getting tested for covid-19


What is it contact tracing?

Contact tracing is a tried and tested method of controlling the spread of infectious diseases. The strategy is being delivered through the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service.


How does it work?

If you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service will contact you by telephone. You’ll be asked where you’ve been recently and who you’ve been in close contact with. This will help the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service contact anyone who may have caught the virus from you.

A contact means anyone whom you have been in close proximity on any occasion during a period beginning up to two days before you started experiencing symptoms, including:

  • Someone within 1 metre of you with whom you have had a face-to-face-conversation, had skin-to-skin physical contact, you have coughed on, or had other forms of contact within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer
  • Someone within 2 metres of you for more than 15 minutes
  • Someone you have travelled in a vehicle with - or seated near you in public transport

As soon as people start to display symptoms, they should arrange to take a test as quickly as possible whilst they and members of their household self-isolate. Contact tracing is reliant on tests being taken quickly. On receiving a positive result people are asked to support the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service by reporting their recent contacts to the local contact tracer so that they can be contacted and notified to self-isolate (and take a test if they too are displaying symptoms), to help stop the spread of the virus.


What should I do if I’m contacted?

You’ll only be called when it’s been confirmed that you have had close contact with someone who has coronavirus. This means you would be at increased risk of catching the disease and passing it on to others.

Contact Tracers are there to protect you, your friends, family and the community from coronavirus. Please be as honest as possible about who you have been in contact with and where you have been when giving information to Contact Tracers. You will not be fined for admitting you have broken rules. Your personal details will not be shared with anyone.

It is really important that you listen to and act on all of the instructions given to you by the Contact Tracers. These could be:

  • Self-isolating
  • Increased hygiene measures such as handwashing and cleaning surfaces
  • Requesting a coronavirus test.

Contact tracers will ask you for the details of people who you have had contact with in the period from 48 hours before Coronavirus symptom onset to seven days after Coronavirus symptom onset.

Contact tracing is being delivered through the health boards. They provide local co-ordination and work in partnership with local authorities and other public services to deploy contact tracing teams.


What will they ask?

They will also gather information on the places you have visited recently and the names and contact details of people you were in close contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms started.

The tracing teams will then contact people who have been identified as coming into close contact with anyone who has tested positive and ask them to stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days.

Remember: They will NEVER ask for any bank or payment details.