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Test, Trace, Protect in Cardiff and the Vale Explained


What is Test, Trace, Protect?

The Welsh Government has introduced Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) as an important national programme of work to limit the spread.

It will work by: 

  • Testing those who have symptoms, while they self-isolate
  • Tracing people who have been in close contact with the symptomatic person, asking them to self-isolate until it is safe to return to work or their usual routine
  • Protecting the community, especially the most vulnerable

Who is responsible for TTP in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan?

Across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan TTP is being led and delivered by Cardiff and Vale UHB, Cardiff Council, Vale of Glamorgan Council, and Shared Regulatory Services working in partnership. 

The programme also has access to specialist health protection support from Public Health Wales. 

This programme will:

  • Manage a team of Contact Tracers and Contact Advisors 
  • Make testing arrangements
  • Provide advice and guidance to cases and contacts on self-isolation to minimise transmission
  • Produce surveillance reports on numbers of new cases, hospital admissions and other key information required to direct the regional response to COVID-19
  • Identify and escalate issues relating to community clusters and/or specific premises as appropriate 

The Cardiff and the Vale service runs 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm. The service operates bilingually. 

Test: How do those with symptoms request a Covid-19 test under the new system?

Importantly, there are no changes to how Critical Workers employed by each of the three partner organisations (Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board, Cardiff Council, the Vale of Glamorgan Council) obtain a Covid-19 test. Staff displaying symptoms should speak to their manager. 

Anyone working in a residential home or an educational setting in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, who is not directly employed by one of the three partner organisations, can request a test through the government portal.

Health Board staff can request a test using this Referral Form
Please view our Frequently Asked Questions 

Everyone else in Wales can request a test here.   

Extended Symptom Testing for Covid-19 in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan

In light of a reduction in national and local case rates and an increase in other respiratory viruses, the Cardiff and Vale Covid-19 Incident Management Team had updated regional arrangements for testing for Covid-19.

People who are experiencing one or more of the three cardinal COVID-19 symptoms (new persistent cough, fever and/or loss of taste or smell) must continue to follow Welsh Government guidance on testing and isolation and are required to self-isolate with their household whilst they await a test result.

In addition to this testing is also available for residents who are experiencing a wider range of symptoms such as fatigue, myalgia (muscle ache or pain), a sore throat, a headache, a runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.

Residents are asked to consider taking a test if they are experiencing any of these wider symptoms and they are new, persistent and/or unusual symptoms for them.

Individuals who take a test because of these other wider symptoms are not required to isolate while they await their test result. This includes school pupils who can continue to attend schools while they await a test result. However, children and adults with diarrhoea and or vomiting should remain off work or school until they are symptom free for 48 hours even if their Covid-19 test is negative.

If individuals then receive a positive Covid-19 result, they and their household must then isolate. Households must also isolate if anyone develops any of the 3 cardinal Covid-19 symptoms while waiting for a test result taken on wider symptoms to come back.

Extended Testing FAQ


Trace: How does the TTP contact tracing process work?

Currently contact tracing will be carried out on receipt of a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis (a positive Covid-19 test result). 

The tracing team will make contact with the individual who has tested positive to inform them that their household should also be self-isolating and ask them to share information about their recent contacts.

The team will then use that information to alert those individuals that they have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case to tell them what they need to do and how they can access support if they need it. 

If any of these individuals have symptoms of Covid-19 they will be asked to request a test. At this point they will also enter the contact tracing system and if their test result is positive, the process will begin again. 

The Cardiff and Vale service will be linked to an all-Wales database where all contact tracing information will be recorded. 

Automated text and email notifications will also be sent to contacts where possible.

The regional service will also be integrated with the NHS Covid-19 app once this becomes available. 

Trace: Who is considered a ‘contact’?

People will be considered as potential contacts if they have been in close contact with the individual who tested positive up to two days before they first displayed symptoms and for seven days after. Examples of close contact include:

  • Having been within 1 metre of someone who as tested positive and has been coughed on, had a face-to-face conversation, had skin-to-skin physical contact, or been in other forms of contact within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer;
  • having been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for more than 15 minutes;
  • having travelled in a vehicle with someone who has tested positive.

People working in professional roles who have correctly used personal protective equipment (PPE) or work behind an appropriate screen or partition (for example a Perspex screen) are not included within this.

If a person who has tested positive works in, or has visited, a health or social care setting (e.g. a hospital, a GP practice, a care home, a dentist) a special needs educational setting or a prison/detention facility, the case will be automatically escalated to the regional response tier of the contact tracing service.

Protect: How should people who have tested positive and those that have been in contact with them self-isolate?

Anyone with a confirmed case of Covid-19 must self-isolate for 10 days after their symptoms started (and until their symptoms have disappeared other than cough or loss of taste/smell).

Those living with someone who has tested positive should self-isolate immediately for 14 days, starting from the day that the person tested first showed symptoms. 

Anyone identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive via the TTP process should self-isolate for 14 days starting from the point of most recent contact. 

Other members of the contact’s household will not be asked to self-isolate, but they will be encouraged to distance themselves as much as possible. If this will be difficult, they will be encouraged, where possible, to stay elsewhere while the contact is in self-isolation. 

If the contact then develops symptoms, they should request a test and all members of their household will also then be required to self-isolate until the result of the test is received. 

If the test is negative then the contact must still remain in isolation until their original 14 day period is completed, but their household can leave isolation. 

If the test is positive, the contact will become a new confirmed case and the process will start again. 

Protect: What support is available for people who are self-isolating?

Most people will be able to manage self-isolation as a result of TTP without additional support, or with help from friends and family.

However, some people may need help with shopping, access to emergency food, collecting medicine and other support and advice. 

This support will continue to be provided locally and in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan will be coordinated by Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council. 

Referrals for support by these services will be integrated into the TTP process. 

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