Test and Trace

The NHS Test and Trace Service works by alerting people who may have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus.  These people must stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.  The NHS is launching a new app on 24th September.

NHS Test and Trace App Launch

The NHS COVID-19 app is part of a large scale coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and contact tracing programme called the NHS Test and Trace service in England and the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service in Wales. The app will be used alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus. Please see here for full information.

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 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

The date has been announced in advance so that businesses are able to download and display QR codes and prepare for the launch.  The codes will be an important way for NHS Test and Trace in England and NHS Test, Trace, Protect in Wales to contact people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified. The app works in exactly the same way in both nations.

QR posters are unique to each venue – businesses can download posters for their premises here and also find available FAQs for businesses on QR codes.

In England, using QR codes will help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises. Businesses who are already using their own QR system are encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code. An alternative check-in method, such as a handwritten register, must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app.

The app will be a critical enhancement of NHS Test and Trace in England. It will provide users with local risk information, and allow them to quickly and easily book a free test, and use a built-in QR scanner to check-in at venues. The app will allow people to know more quickly if they are at risk of the virus, so they can take action fast to protect their communities and families. 

Next Steps

We are encouraging stakeholders to share with your networks to raise awareness of the benefits of the app and make sure as many businesses as possible are ready ahead of the launch on the 24 September.

Available at the bottom of this webpage is a slide pack setting out the benefits and functions of the app, and you can find further assets and materials on the Government website: https://covid19.nhs.uk/information-and-resources.html

Please share via social media channels; @OfficialNHSCOVID19app (Facebook) and @NHSCOVID19app (Twitter).

Testing in Lincolnshire

Testing is available for any person showing symptoms of Coronavirus, over the age of 5. You can either chose to take the test at site near you or with a home test kit. Symptoms are:

  • A fever
  • A new, continuous dry cough
  • A change or absence in your sense of taste and smell
       Only get a Coronavirus test if you have symptoms or have been asked to get tested.

How to book a test

The county has a static testing site and mobile units that visit various locations based on booked demand. After booking a test online, you will be offered a test appointment at your nearest available (or a home test kit if appropriate).  Please do not arrive at a test centre without an appointment. Priority must be given to the high numbers of people who have booked a test, meaning you are unlikely to be seen.

Please visit: https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/

After testing        

Most people receive their test results the day after taking the test. Some results may take slightly longer but should be within 72 hours.

If your test result turns out to be negative, you can safely return to work, as long as:

  • You are well enough
  • You have not had a high temperature for 48 hours
  • Anyone you live with also tests negative

If your test result is positive, or someone you live with tests positive, you cannot return to work. You’ll need to continue to self-isolate. Read NHS advice about how long to self-isolate. 

If your condition gets worse, or you do not get better after 7 days, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Government Information - For Employers

  • Workers can book tests for themselves and their household via a new online portal on gov.uk. This will make the process of getting an appointment quicker and easier, while reducing the burden on business. Please click here to book a test
  • Government  strongly encourages employers to communicate te Test and Trace service to eligible workforce and colleagues. Employers may be aware that demand for these tests has been high. However, please advise your self-isolating staff to get a test if they, or someone in their household, have symptoms. More allocations become available each day
  • If you need further guidance and support, please contact DHSC at opshub@dhsc.gov.uk
  • To help communicate with staff, please see the bottom of this webpage for a package of materials to be used for colleague engagement
  • Other support material can be found at the end of this webpage


See the GOV.UK website for further information - NHS test and trace: how it works 


Page updated 14th September 2020.