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Patients unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (Covid-19) can obtain an isolation note online without contacting their GP, the Government has announced.
The service will provide proof of absence from work for those who areadvised to self-isolate because they have symptoms of coronavirus or live with someone who does, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said today.
It aims to ‘reduce the pressure’ on GP practices and prevent people from needing to leave their homes, the DHSC added.
However, employees can ‘self-certify’ and do not need any evidence for their employer for the first seven days off work, it said.
An isolation note will be emailed to the user, a ‘trusted family member or friend’ or directly to their employer after they have answered some questions, it added.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘It is absolutely vital we do everything we can to ease the burden on our healthcare professionals, allowing them to spend as much time as possible with those patients that need them most.
‘Digital isolation notes will provide reassurance to those self-isolating and their employers while also reducing the pressure on our NHS, so they can continue doing all they can to protect the people of this country and save lives.’
An isolation note or fit note will not be required for those who need to claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance due to coronavirus, the DHSC added.
The service can be accessed through NHS 111 online, the NHS website and the NHS app.
It comes as the GMC is contacting 15,000 doctors – including nearly 5,000 GPs – who may be granted temporary registration to help deal with the outbreak.