Test and Trace could close pharmacies (and other care establishments)

Pharmacies have warned of the threat to business continuity of the new NHS Test and Trace programme, which started on May 28.

Under the new policy, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within two metres for more than 15 minutes. The new guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms.

At this time, the guidance issued by Government does not provide any information on whether there are different rules for health and care workers, however, pharmacy leaders warn that this new approach could require all colleagues of the infected person to self-isolate for fourteen days, with the subsequent immediate, temporary closure of the pharmacy.

Pharmacy and other health and care team members are advised to wear the recommended PPE to avoid the need to self-isolate due to Test and Trace.

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