Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: privacy information

Published 17 April 2020
Last updated 11 November 2020 +show all updates

  1. Updates to the documents ‘Testing for coronavirus: privacy information’ and ‘Testing for coronavirus: privacy information quick read’ to reflect changes to the contact process of research organisations and to mirror updates to the wider testing programme.

  2. Updated both the ‘Testing for coronavirus: privacy information quick read’ and the ‘Testing for coronavirus: privacy information’ to reflect self-isolation dates not test results are shared with police forces.

  3. Updated ‘Antibody testing for coronavirus: privacy information’. Added link to check if you’re eligible for an antibody test.

  4. Changed the formatting of the bulletpoint list under data controllers and data processors on ‘Testing for coronavirus: privacy information’. PHE, local authorities and police forces were incorrectly listed as sub-bullets of NHS Digital.Updates to the 2 documents: Testing for coronavirus: privacy information and Testing for coronavirus: privacy information quick read. In both documents telling your employer if you test positive for COVID-19 has changed from ‘we strongly recommend you tell your employer’ to ‘you must tell your employer’.

  5. Updates to the the following documents to bring them in line with the current testing programme: Testing for coronavirus: privacy information: quick read and Testing for coronavirus: privacy information.

  6. Added new document: ‘Antibody testing for coronavirus: privacy information’.

  7. In the privacy information and quick read: changed if it is confirmed that that you contracted COVID-19 from a work-related exposure your employer is obliged to report this to the Health and Safety Executive to if there is reasonable evidence that you contracted COVID-19 from a work-related exposure your employer is obliged to report this to the Health and Safety Executive. Added contacting you (if you test positive) as part of the government contact tracing programme and sharing your coronavirus test result with your local hospital, if you are booked in for elective surgery to the lists of purposes your data and information will be used for. In the privacy information, updated NHS Digitals role under List of data controllers and data processors and in Annex 2. Updated Deloittes role in Annex 2.

  8. Updated privacy notice and quick read to say that if you test positive, you may be contacted by text message to see whether you wish to donate blood plasma, as part of the potential treatment for coronavirus. Updated the Department of Health and Social Care’s data protection officer to Ian Stone.

  9. Both attachments have been updated in the following ways: eligibility criteria has been amended, how to get test results without a valid email or mobile number has been added, detail has been added to the explanation of who gives data to who and a greater emphasis has been placed on informing employers of positive test results.

  10. Added quick read version of the privacy information.

  11. Privacy notice updated to reflect latest testing information.


  12. First published.


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