(REUTERS/Anton Vaganov)

Pharmacy contractors have been advised that they can contact concerned official at Public Health England if they disagree with an assessment of any recent contact by NHS Test and Trace contact tracer.

The PHE will review the case, if a contractor disagrees with the assessment, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has said.

“The NHS Test and Trace aims to help trace recent close contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies these people that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus,” the pharmacy negotiator noted.

“Therefore, if one member of pharmacy staff tests positive for coronavirus, a contact tracer may contact the pharmacy and assess whether other pharmacy staff members should be asked to self-isolate. The result may be that the pharmacy has to close.”

A close contact means having face-to-face contact with someone less than one metre away. This includes the occasions where a face covering or a face mask is worn.

A close contact is also elaborated as spending over 15 minutes within two metres of someone or travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane.

PSNC considers that “any assessment of a close contact between pharmacy staff ought to take into account the use of PPE (including its type and situational appropriateness) and other mitigating factors that may reduce the risk of infection transmission to such an extent that the individual identified as a contact does not need to self-isolate.”

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