- News Release from Cumbria County Council -

Following events last week where people who had visited a number of different pubs in Carlisle and Penrith were asked to get tested for COVID-19, the public are being urged to make sure they leave the correct contact details when going to pubs and restaurants.

As part of the effort to stop the spread of the virus pubs and restaurants should be collecting contact details from customers to help local contact tracing work should it be needed.

Since last week over 1200 people have received a text message from the council advising them to get tested. But it has emerged that around 15-20% of the contact information provided by customers is wrong or unusable. Issues include:

  • No details or clearly false numbers.
  • Incorrect mobile phone numbers with too many or too few digits
  • Illegible handwriting

Now the public are being asked to stop and double check the details they provide, and wherever possible provide a mobile phone number rather than a landline.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said:

“This information is absolutely vital to our efforts to stop the spread of the virus. Being able to contact people quickly and easily if they have potentially been exposed to someone who is infectious is hugely important.

“I know it is a bit of an inconvenience, but I urge people to provide their contact details when asked and make certain they are correct and readable. Almost 1 in 5 of the people we think may potentially have been exposed last week will not hear from us directly because of unusable information.

“It’s a simple thing to do, just double check your details.”

The key public health messages remain:

  • Wash or sanitise hands regularly
  • Observe social distancing rules
  • Wear face masks or coverings in enclosed public spaces
  • If you have symptoms, self-isolate and get tested
  • Follow advice to self-isolate if asked