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The self-isolation countdown on your NHS COVID-19 app may differ from what you've been told by the wider programme. This is not necessarily an error. For example, the app may have identified a different contact to the one that contact tracers are discussing with you. Contacts identified via the app are anonymous, so it is not possible to confirm if it is the same contact or not.

If you've tested positive, or have been told by NHS Test and Trace or NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service contact tracers that you have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive, you must self-isolate for the full period of time advised by contact tracers.

There is a legal requirement in England and Wales to self-isolate in these circumstances and there are fines if you do not comply.

If the app advises you to self-isolate for a shorter period of time than the period advised to you by contact tracers, you must self-isolate for the time advised by contact tracers in order to comply with the law.

If the app tells you to self-isolate for longer than the period advised to you by contact tracers, then the additional time period identified by the app is only advisory. This means you are not legally required to self-isolate for the extra time that the app is suggesting, but it is a recommended precaution.

There are a small number of uncommon situations where the app does not give the same advice as the current policy of NHS Test and Trace in England or NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect. For example when you have taken a rapid lateral flow (LFD) test at a test site in England and received a positive result, then had a follow-up test within 2 days which was negative. NHS Test and Trace advice will be that you no longer need to self-isolate, but the app’s self-isolation countdown timer will not clear when you input your negative result. In this case, please follow the advice from NHS Test and Trace.