Test and trace figures suggest change in mindset

Layla McCay comments on the latest test and trace figures for England.

29 July 2021

Responding to the latest test and trace figures for England, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: "A change in mindset may be starting to emerge – the number of people making use of venue check-ins has dropped markedly, and alongside that, fewer people are getting tested, and the percentage of people testing positive who were reached and asked to provide details of close contacts has fallen too.

"It's understandable that people want to enjoy greater social freedoms and that they are concerned about being 'pinged' and having to self-isolate. But if we are to stave off another major wave of infections, as well as reduce pressure on the NHS, we would urge people to continue getting tested and providing details so that spikes can be identified.

"At the same time, with so many people still being asked to self-isolate, it is absolutely imperative that they are fully supported to do so. Isolation remains one of the strongest tools at our disposal in curbing the spread of the virus, and it must be possible for all. This is particularly important in light of ONS figures showing wavering adherence to self-isolation requirements, alongside Sajid Javid’s remark that ‘no one really knows’ where case numbers will go. The pandemic is not yet over, but we can help move it in the right direction."