Expensive drink! ‘Selfish’ woman is fined £1,000 for going to the pub less than 30 minutes after being told to self-isolate by Covid contact tracers

  • Woman told to isolate by a NHS Test and Trace official in Barrow-in-Furness
  • But she ignored the instructions and headed to a pub in a taxi 25 minutes later
  • Investigations carried out by Test and Trace to confirm what had happened 
  • Woman was handed fine by Cumbria Police officers for her ‘blatant breach’
  • ** Do you know the woman in Barrow? Please email: tips@dailymail.com ** 

A woman was fined £1,000 for going to the pub less than half an hour after being told to self-isolate by coronavirus contact tracers.

She was told to isolate by a NHS Test and Trace official in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, but ignored the instructions and headed to a pub in a taxi 25 minutes later.

Investigations were carried out by Test and Trace to confirm what had happened and the woman was handed the fine by police officers for her ‘blatant breach’.

The woman was told to isolate by a Test and Trace official in Barrow-in-Furness (file image)

The woman was told to isolate by a Test and Trace official in Barrow-in-Furness (file image)

The woman, who was branded ‘selfish’ by a council chief, had been told she would need to isolate as she had been a close contact to a positive case.

Cumbria Police Superintendent Carl Patrick said: ‘This was a blatant breach and put all those this woman came into contact with at unnecessary risk.

Covid-19 app’s check-in feature is ‘not expected to send out alerts frequently’ 

The effectiveness of England and Wales’s coronavirus app is under the spotlight once again after the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it does not expect to send out alerts frequently from QR code check-ins.

People are able to scan codes on posters before entering venues such as pubs and restaurants using the app, allowing NHS Test and Trace to send an alert to anyone who has visited somewhere that experiences an outbreak.

The first Saturday after the app launched 1.5 million venue check-ins were recorded.

It was heralded as an important way to help contact tracing efforts, alongside separate Bluetooth contact tracing which keeps a log of individuals a person comes into close contact with.

But according to Sky News, only one alert has been sent about a coronavirus outbreak in a venue since the service was launched two weeks ago.

Given that it became a legal requirement for certain venues in England to display QR code posters on September 24, DHSC said it would not yet expect to see large numbers of alerts having been sent out linked to outbreaks.

It is not compulsory for businesses to display QR code posters in Wales.

The main benefit of the QR check-in feature is to serve as a digital diary that can be used as a memory prompt if a user is diagnosed with coronavirus and contacted by NHS Test and Trace, the department added.

‘The NHS Covid-App is an important public health tool, downloaded more than 16 million times, which is helping to stop the spread of this virus,’ a DHSC spokesman said.

‘Alongside the app’s contact tracing features, the QR code check-in system performs a number of important functions, not least providing a digital diary for users to prompt them as to who they have been with should they test positive.

‘If health protection teams believe a venue is linked to an outbreak they may send a ‘warn and inform’ message to app users who attended the venue at a similar time based on when they checked in.’

It comes as pubs and restaurants in northern England cities face the prospect of temporarily closing again to combat the spread of the virus.

‘This shows police and our partners will work together to protect the public by ensuring people are showing the necessary personal responsibility to keep their communities safe. The Covid-19 virus continues to spread rapidly across our county.

‘It is up to everybody to show personal responsibility and to be careful to follow the guidance and rules in place to keep everyone safe.

‘The vast majority of people in Cumbria have stuck to the rules and made many personal sacrifices over the past few months to keep themselves, their families and our communities safe.

‘We must all continue to stick to the guidance and regulations and all do our bit to protect ourselves, our families and our communities.’

Barrow Borough Council leader Ann Thomson said: ‘It saddens me deeply that someone would disregard an instruction to self-isolate from a member of our Track and Trace team. This selfish action could knowingly place other people at risk.

‘Cases of coronavirus are spreading rapidly across our area. Please take this situation extremely seriously and stay at home if you are told to self-isolate.

‘Ignoring this instruction will not only land you with a fine, it could put those you come into contact with and others in grave danger.’ 

It comes as the crucial Test and Trace system saw its worst week on record – failing to reach a third of contacts who might have been exposed to Covid.

The programme – seen as vital to the Government’s pandemic response – is coming under strain as the number of people it processes soars.

Some 51,475 new people tested positive for Covid-19 in England in the week to September 30, according to figures published last night – up 56 per cent in a week and by far the highest number of tests the system has had to process since its launch at the end of May.

Just 69 per cent of close contacts of those who tested positive were reached in the week ending September 30, the lowest since Test and Trace began, and down from 73 per cent the previous week.

Delays in delivering testing results have also soared, with only a quarter of people of those who had their test in a regional site, local site or mobile testing unit – a so-called ‘in-person’ test – received their result within 24 hours.

That is down from 38 per cent in the previous week, and is the lowest weekly percentage since the week ending June 10, when 18 per cent received their tests within a day.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pledged that, by the end of June, the results of all in-person tests would be back within 24 hours.

Of the 34,494 people transferred to the Test and Trace system, 74 per cent were reached and asked to provide details of recent close contacts. Again, this is the worst record for months.

The test and trace programme, which was set up rapidly over the summer at a cost of £12billion, is now employing 1,114 consultants from Deloitte, according to Freedom of Information documents, Sky News reported last night. 

** Do you know the woman in Barrow? Please email: tips@dailymail.com ** 

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