Coronavirus - Test and Trace


From today (Tuesday, 5 January 2021), a new fast testing centre opens in Rayleigh for those who DO NOT have symptoms of COVID-19.

The new Rayleigh Testing Centre is situated at The MegaCentre, 7 Brook Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 7UT.

This testing centre is the fourth of its kind in Essex, and will join The Nightingale Centre in Brentwood, The Towngate Theatre in Basildon and The Place Leisure Centre in Pitsea as one of the first places in the county and the region to offer new and fast Lateral Flow Tests to the wider population. The tests are ONLY for people for who DO NOT have symptoms and give results in around 30 minutes.

Tests are by appointment only and bookings should be made online. Anyone booking should live in the Rochford district of Essex. You can book a test through the following webpage:

Booking online should be the quickest and most effective option for residents seeking a Lateral Flow Test. If you're not able to book using the online form, you can call 0333 772 6144 to arrange an appointment. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, every day including Saturday and Sunday. You can also email: [email protected] and a member of staff will contact you to arrange an appointment.

Anyone WITH symptoms should book a test via the NHS Test and Trace App, or at

This additional centre has been established in response to the current infection rate in the borough of Rochford now reaching 1084 per 100,000 (according to the latest available data, released on 31 December 2020).

Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough; high temperature; or a loss of or change in your normal sense of smell or taste can book a test by visiting or telephoning 119 to book their test between the hours of 7am - 11pm. The service can be accessed by people with hearing or speech difficulties by calling 18001 119 (in England and Wales). 

Those in England and Waleswho do not have any access to the internet, or who have difficulty with thedigital portals, will be able to ring the 119 service to book their testbetween the hours of 7am - 11pm. The service can be accessed by people withhearing or speech difficulties by calling 18001 119 (in England and Wales).

Anyone wanting to betested must pre-book an appointment and travel to the centre by car - i.e. noton foot or by public transport.

Testing is now availablefor under 5's at the mobile testing units. The test must be performed by aparent or guardian. It is possible children may experience some milddiscomfort, but it should not hurt. When a child takes a test, theirparent/guardian will be told how results will be passed to them. This may be byemail or by text or both. 

 Antibody Testing    


Test kits have been offered to every care home for over-65s or those with dementia in England.  

Staff and residents in care homes for over 65s and those with dementia will receive regularcoronavirus tests from next week as part of a new social care testing strategy.

If you live with a person who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or has had a positive test result you must follow the Stay at Home guidance.

People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.

"Close contact" is defined as:

people you spend 15 minutes or more with at a distance of lessthan 2m; and 

people you have direct contact with - such as sexual partners,household members or people with whom you have had face-to-face conversationsat a distance of less than 1m.

The contact must have taken place between two days before and upto seven days after symptoms appeared.


Warning that thermal cameras and other such "temperature screening" products, some of which make direct claims to screen for COVID-19, are not a reliable way to detect if people have the virus.



Growth Rate and R Value Data


NHS Test and Trace

If the NHS Test and Trace service contacts you, the service will use text messages, email or phone. All texts or emails will ask you to sign into the NHS Test and Trace contact-tracing website. If NHS Test and Trace calls you by phone, the service will be using the phone numbers 0300 013 5000.

All information you provide to the NHS Test and Trace service is held in strict confidence and will only be kept and used in line with the Data Protection Act 2018.

Contact tracers will:

  • call you from 0300 013 5000. Local contact tracers will contact you from a local council number. If you're unsure if this is genuine, please contact your local council for advice
  • send you text messages from ‘NHStracing'
  • ask you to sign into the NHS Test and Trace contact-tracing website
  • ask for your full name to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
  • ask about the coronavirus symptoms you have been experiencing
  • ask you to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with in the 2 days prior to your symptoms starting
  • ask if anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England

Contact tracers will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
  • provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

Contact tracers will ask you:

  • if you have family members or other household members living with you. In line with the medical advice they must remain in self-isolation for the rest of the 14-day period from when your symptoms began
  • if you have had any close contact with anyone other than members of your household. We are interested in in the 48 hours before you developed symptoms and the time since you developed symptoms. Close contact means:
  • having face-to-face contact with someone less than 1 metre away (this will include times where you have worn a face covering or a face mask)
  • spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
  • travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane
  • if you work in - or have recently visited - a setting with other people (for example, a GP surgery, a school or a workplace). The use of face masks and other forms PPE does not exclude somebody from being considered a close contact, unless they are providing direct care with patients or residents in a health and care setting

They will ask you to provide, where possible, the names and contact details (for example, email address, telephone number) for the people you have had close contact with. As with your own details these will be held in strict confidence and will be kept and used only in line with data protection laws.

If NHS Test and Trace identify you as a contact and you work in a critical service where the recommendation for you to self-isolate would have impact on providing that critical service, your employer will need to escalate this to the local health protection team (HPT) for a risk-assessment.

Based on the information you provide, contact tracers will assess whether they need to alert your contacts and ask them to self-isolate. They may refer the case to local public health experts if your case is complex. Local public health experts are Public Health England staff and teams employed by the Council who work together with all parts of the local community to prevent or respond to local outbreaks.

RDC's Environmental Health Team is part of the national Test and Trace response,working in partnership with Essex County Council (ECC) and Public HealthEngland (PHE) which goes live  Monday 29 June 2020. 

Businesses and organisations within theRochford district must report where there has been any confirmed positive caseswithin their workplaces. You can find out more information here. 

NHS COVID-19 app

The NHS COVID-19 app is launched across England and Wales on Thursday 24 September. It is available to those aged 16 and over in multiple languages. It forms a central part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England - identifying contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.

The UK's major mobile network operators, including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, Sky and Virgin, have confirmed that all in-app activity will not come out of customers' data allowance.

The contact tracing element of the app works by using low-energy Bluetooth to log the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for COVID-19 - even if you don't know each other.

The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case. It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a free test if needed and get your test results.

The app has been designed with user privacy in mind, so it tracks the virus, not people and uses the latest in data security technology to protect privacy. The system generates a random ID for an individual's device, which can be exchanged between devices via Bluetooth (not GPS). These unique random IDs regenerate frequently to add an extra layer of security and preserve anonymity.

The app does not hold personal information such as your name, address or date of birth, and only requires the first half of your postcode to ensure local outbreaks can be managed. No personal data is shared with the government or the NHS.

Businesses are now required by law to display the official NHS QR code posters from today so people can check-in at different premises with the app. Customers and visitors in England will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.

When someone enters a venue and scans an official QR poster, the venue information will be logged on the user's phone. This information will stay on a user's phone for 21 days and if during that time a coronavirus outbreak is identified at a location, the venue ID in question will be sent to all devices. The device will check if users have been at that location and if the app finds a match, users may get an alert with advice on what to do based on the level of risk. 

Test & Trace Support Payments Scheme

The application form for the Government Test & Trace Support Payments Scheme is available on Rochford District Council's website  If you do not have web access you can make a telephone application by calling 01702 318008.

The Test & Trace Support Payments Scheme is a £500 lump sum payment for people on low incomes who are unable to work because they are self-isolating.

To be eligible for the £500 lump sum payment a person must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace either because they have tested positive for coronavirus, or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  • be employed or self-employed;
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Where no qualifying benefit is being received but the other criteria is met, local authorities have the power to award the £500 payment under a local discretionary scheme. The Rochford District discretionary scheme is currently under development and more details will be published on the web-link above in due course.

This payment scheme will run until at least January 2021.



 Page Updated 11/01/2021

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