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UK cops to keep an eye on self-isolating people

10:00 PM Oct 19, 2020 | Aditi Khanna

Police forces in England will have access to data of people told to self-isolate through the official National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace system as part of their enforcement of coronavirus lockdown rules.

Forces will have access to information telling them if an individual has been told to self-isolate on a "case-by-case basis", the government's Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said on Friday.

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It said the move was part of a legal requirement for people who had tested positive and their close contacts to self-isolate when formally notified to do so.

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"The DHSC has agreed a memorandum of understanding with the NPCC (National Police Chiefs Council) to enable police forces to have access on a case-by-case basis to information that enables them to know if a specific individual has been notified to self-isolate," a DHSC spokesperson said.

"The memorandum of understanding ensures that information is shared with appropriate safeguards and in accordance with the law. No testing or health data is shared in this process," the spokesperson said.

Police will not have access to data from the NHS COVID-19 app as it works on an anonymous basis.

Under legal requirements in place, anyone who receives a positive result for COVID-19 is currently required to isolate for 10 days.

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