Council boosts NHS contact tracing capacity

Published: Friday, 9 October 2020

Havering Council has announced details of its local approach to test and trace and a £500 “Havering Helps” package to support residents asked to self-isolate due to Covid 19.

The Council is one of many across the country taking on the task of trying to trace and then contact people in the borough who have tested positive for Covid 19 but have not responded to contact from the national test and trace service to ensure they are self-isolating.

The Council will now take on the role of reaching these people via phone, email or text message.

If they still do not respond, then Council staff will visit their last known address to speak to them directly.

Residents being contacted by Havering Council should see the telephone numbers 020 39281402 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. 

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. They can also 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. 

Anyone found to have symptoms of Covid 19 should go for a test and isolate themselves until the test results come back.

If the test results confirm that they have the disease then they should stay in isolation for at least 10 days. 

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.

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. 

Residents are also asked to download the NHS Covid 19 app on to their phones.

Among other things, it can help you find out when you've been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus, and lets you know the level of coronavirus risk in your postcode district.

The app is available in a number of different languages including Romanian, Urdu, Gujeratit, Bengali and Turkish.

The app currently supports Apple iOS version 13.5 and higher, and Android version Marshmallow (v6.0) and higher.

The Leader of Havering Council, Councillor Damian White, said:

"Local knowledge and intelligence is playing a vital role across the country to help the NHS Test and Trace system and today’s announcement is further evidence of the Havering Helps package we have put in place. 

"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.

“We need to hold out until a vaccination is widely available. Until then, residents should do everything they can to remain safe and not put themselves in harm’s way. Wear a face covering, wash your hands, keep your distance and keep to the rule of 6. If possible reduce who you mix with. Do your bit and stick to these rules.”