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Test and Trace Oversight: Urgently implement retesting policy

An open letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson MP

Following the government’s Covid-19 announcement made today, we agree that a joint effort across the country is required to save lives at this critical moment in the disease’s trajectory.

We believe there is an oversight in the test and trace process, which could be fueling the rise in Coronavirus cases. At the moment, all of the approaches to handling the spread are premised on the assumption that two weeks of self-isolation are sufficient to overcome the virus upon seeing symptoms and/or testing positive for Coronavirus. There seems to be a gap in both science and policy with regards to this. With no re-testing process in place to confirm that those who have tested positive are now negative after the two weeks isolation period, we cannot know for sure that they no longer have the virus and are able to pass it on.

Photograph: Toby Melville / Via Getty Images

In order to limit the spread, we must initiate and implement a retesting process. This would involve an individual testing negative at least once after the two-week isolation period. This should be made compulsory before individuals can remerge from isolation and meet friends and family again.

We know that one can be asymptomatic and still spread the virus. It may also be possible that one has tested positive for the virus, overcome the main symptoms in the two-week isolation period, and still be a carrier and spread the virus.

We must slow the spread of the virus and for this it is crucial we are certain that those who have shown signs and/or tested positive, are no longer carriers of the virus and/or positive.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

The Equality Act Review

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