Universal Credit Test & Trace support claimants may face new quarantine compliance service


Universal Credit and other benefit claimants may be told to self-isolate through the NHS Test and Trace service if they’ve tested positive for coronavirus. Should this occur, people may find themselves eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment if they live in England and meet certain criteria.

On this, the Government yesterday released details on a new service designed to support quarantine compliance, which could have an impact on those affected by the Test and Trace service.

As the Home Office detailed: “The Government has launched a service to carry out further visits on people who have a duty to quarantine following international travel.

“It is still illegal to holiday overseas and those entering the country following international travel must quarantine for a period of 10 days at a managed quarantine site or the address listed on their passenger locator form. Compliance is critical to reduce the risk of Variants of Concern entering the UK.

“Those quarantining at home may be visited by staff employed on behalf of the NHS Test and Trace service. These checks will be in addition to those already carried out by police officers, who make up to 1,000 home visits per day.

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“NHS Test and Trace staff will not have any enforcement powers, however, a referral will be made to the police if NHS Test and Trace staff have a reason to believe that an individual may be breaching quarantine rules. Officers will consider enforcement action following further investigation.

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“Individuals who fail to comply could be issued with a fixed penalty notice, starting at £1,000 and increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offences.”

These updates arrived as the Government began to open up the economy but they stressed international travel is still forbidden.

Last week, the Government set out a framework to “chart the safe return of international travel” which could resume from May 17 at the earliest.

Where a person is eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, they can apply through their local council.

The scheme itself is administered by unitary authorities and district councils.

The payments can be claimed for up to 42 days after the first day of the self-isolation period.

When applying, claimants will need to provide an NHS Test and Trace Account ID, proof that they receive one of the qualifying benefits, a bank statement and proof employment or self-employment.





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