People are refusing to self-isolate in Southend after being in contact with people with Covid-19 symptoms or have symptoms themselves.

The council’s director of public health said the authority knows some people could be spreading the virus by not self-isolating but the council does not have the resources to force them to stay home.

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Health boss Krishna Ramkhelawon said the only way it would be possible to enforce self-isolation is if the Government introduces the long-delayed track and trace app and allows people to be tracked via their phones.

Basildon Standard:

Calls - Health boss Krishna Ramkhelawon said people are not taking personal responsibility for curbing the spread of coronavirus

He said: “People are not self-isolating and they are not taking personal responsibility.

“We can try to enforce this but we need to know who they are and then we need the resources to track them.

“Let’s say there was 50 people in a case, where do you get the resource to make sure all of them self-isolate.

"The only way is through the NHS tracking system. Then you can use the app to monitor if what people are doing is illegal.”

While he acknowledged people may be concerned about privacy with this kind of system but called it a “health emergency” and insisted “if you cannot track people, you cannot enforce”.

He further stated the app would not be gathering any personal information beyond checking if you leave the house.