What ‘Test and Trace’ means for independent garages

Every time an employee comes into contact with COVID-19 they must self-isolate for 14-days

What ‘Test and Trace’ means for independent garages
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The new NHS Test and Trace service, which was launched yesterday (Thursday 28 May) in England, has raised concerns about the possible repercussions for independent garages.

The programme aims to help identify, contain and control COVID-19 but garage staff may find themselves in isolation on more than one occasion, putting even more strain on independents trying to recover from the UK’s lockdown restrictions.

How ‘Test and Trace’ works

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.

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.

If those in isolation develop symptoms, they can book a test online or by calling 119.

Related: Chancellor confirms details of new flexible furlough scheme

Individual isolation

If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for seven days or until their symptoms have passed.

If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.

Members of their household will not have to stay at home unless the person identified becomes symptomatic, at which point they must also self-isolate for 14 days to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

Anyone with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste is asked to immediately report these symptoms and book a test.

NHS COVID-19 app

Meanwhile, work continues on the NHS COVID-19 app, which will form a part of the NHS Test and Trace service, and is due to be launched in the coming weeks.

It will significantly extend the speed and reach of contact tracing, making it possible to trace contacts made with people not known to the infected person.

What it means for independent garages

Industry experts are encouraging garage owners to follow sector-specific guidance to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

To avoid business disruption as a result of Test and Trace, face-to-face interactions that take place within two metres should be kept to a minimum and not carry on for more than 15 minutes.

If a member of staff has been identified by Test and Trace to have come into contact with COVID-19 they must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have any symptoms.

Government advice states that employers must ensure any self-isolating employee is receiving sick pay and give them the option to use their paid leave days if they prefer.

The NHS ‘Test and Trace’ service will provide a notification that can be used as evidence that someone has been told to self-isolate to help employers reclaim statutory sick pay.

Frank Harvey, head of member services at the Independent Garage Association told GW many independents are already reducing contact time and adhering to social distancing rules.

“Solutions to keep business going”

He said: “Test and Trace has implications for everyone but as a sector we’re already finding solutions to problems nobody could have predicted.

“It’s all about following government guidelines and adopting new distancing measures such as vehicle collection options, key drop-off points and then once you’ve got the vehicle, disinfecting it and use seat, steering wheel and gear stick covers.

“Everybody want’s to get back to work and we all want to keep the reproduction rate of COVID-19 as low as possible, so it’s really encouraging to see that garages are finding solutions to keep business going.”

Related: Kwik Fit MOT tester contracts COVID-19

Professor John Newton, national coordinator of Test and Trace, said: “At this critical point in the nation’s response to coronavirus we are launching a service that will enable us to emerge more safely from lockdown.

“To control the virus we still need to continue with social distancing and good hygiene, but we also now have a comprehensive test and trace service to stop new cases spreading.

“This approach will allow us to gradually return to more normal personal, social and economic lives while recognising that we have to stay alert and respond rapidly to any advice from the new service.”

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Home Page Forums What NHS Test and Trace means for independent garages

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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  • #196192 Reply
    Graham Cox
    Guest

    I have a sensible question
    who pays the mechanic or reception staff person when they are away for 14 days ???
    are we expected to put our hand in our empty pockets to cover the cost ???
    I totally agree we need to stay safe and get rid of covid but at what cost to independent garages
    on another issue I am right to assume once mot testing returns that the fee should be fixed at the current dvsa level ???
    ernigrip motors ltd

    #196198 Reply

    Hi Graham, very good questions!

    Government advice states employers must ensure any self-isolating employee is receiving sick pay and give them the option to use their paid leave days if they prefer.

    On the MOT fee, we’re aware that the IGA is encouraging garages to “stand united” at the DVSA’s recommended MOT price of £54.85 to help garages recuperate costs from the loss of revenue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we’re not aware of any indication by the DVSA to officially “fix the fee”, despite long-held calls for it to do so.

    #196203 Reply
    Alan
    Guest

    Either your reporter has misinterpreted the rules or they are a farce as there is a clearly different approach between infection at home and infection at work. You state ‘If a member of staff comes into contact with COVID-19 they must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have any symptoms’ so it is very possible that should one of my staff members develop symptoms then we would have to close but you also state that ‘Members of their household will not have to stay at home unless the person identified becomes symptomatic’.

    I don’t know about you but I am less likely to be in close contact with my staff at work than I am with the other members of my household and so less likely to contract or pass the virus to a work colleague than I am to a household member. If this is correct then I am the only one in the world who isn’t having an affair at work????

    #196206 Reply

    Hi Alan, thanks for raising this point. The information you refer to was supplied via press release from the Department of Health and Social Care. To clarify, only those who have been identified as having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive must stay at home for 14 days. To be considered by Test and Trace as someone who has been in contact with COVID-19, you must have been within two metres of someone who has tested positive for the virus for at least 15 minutes. Providing your staff stick to social distancing measures, they won’t all need to go into self-isolation at the same time. Thanks again, Mike.

    #196233 Reply
    Graham beston
    Guest

    Let’s be realistic, you have more chance of plotting fog than you have of getting the IG sector to charge the full for the MOT test. The MOT test and fee has been a race to the bottom since day 1. The car and van MOT stations need to take a look at how the designated premises scheme is running and how over the last 8 years the truck workshops have steadily increased their profit off testing even though they have to pay the DVSA a day rate of around £700 for their tester to do the actual test.
    The main problem with the IG sector is they fail to have the ability to work out what an actual cost is to carry out an MOT test, the feel of they are busy they are profitable. In this industry you have to find the correct customer base that values the first class service that most of the IG sector supplies and that the dealer network will and could never match.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

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