Skip to main content

Contact Tracing

What to expect when symptomatic or testing positive for Covid-19 in the Isle of Man.

Contact tracing is the process of identifying, assessing, and managing people who have a high risk of having been exposed to the disease to prevent onward transmission.

The Isle of Man Contact Tracing process aims to;

  • Isolate the positive case to prevent further onward transmission;
  • Look backwards to understand the source of any case;
  • Contact high risk individuals and in doing so break the chain of transmission of COVID-19 and minimise forward transmission from them;
  • Contain potential outbreaks of the virus within the Island
  • Identify otherwise unknown cases of COVID-19

Contact tracing is a useful and robust public health tool to control the virus, and plays an important role in allowing us to reduce the restrictions on our Island’s borders as we learn to live in a world with COVID-19.

With an increase in Covid-19 cases, the contact tracing process has changed slightly. If you do test positive, here’s how the process works and what you can expect at each stage. As we learn to live in a world with Covid-19 (where the virus becomes more predictable and manageable), continue to be aware of the signs and symptoms – both the four primary symptoms, and others – of Covid-19.

Your history won’t be formally contact traced while case numbers remain high, but you can ensure that you undertake your own contact tracing and inform any high risk contacts by following the below guidance.


Click here for our guide to testing positive for Covid-19:


Step by Step process of testing for Covid-19 and Contact Tracing


Ongoing Testing

Lateral Flow Device tests are now available to everyone in the Isle of Man, free of charge.

You can order them online, or find your local participating pharmacy to collect them. It is good practice to test yourself using an LFD around twice a week (or more frequently if you believe you have been in close contact with a known Covid-19 case).

>> If you are symptomatic and have any symptoms of Covid-19, use the online symptom checker tool or call 111.

>> If you return a positive test result on an LFD

You should stay at home and isolate. Book a PCR test online, or by calling 111.


What to expect with PCR testing

You will be given a time slot to attend the PCR test centre, based at the Grandstand in Douglas.

It may be busy, so be prepared for a wait upon arrival.

A swab will be used to take a sample from the back of your throat, followed by your nostril. The test will take around 30 seconds, and while it can be uncomfortable, it shouldn’t hurt. It is recommended that you bring a bottle of water and some tissues.


Go directly home and await your test result

Test results will be returned within 48 hours, and usually within 24.


If your test is negative

You will receive your test results by email if it is negative.

If your test result is negative, you do not need to continue to isolate, however stay aware for any symptoms of Covid-19


If your test is positive 

You will receive your test results by email.

  • Isolate for 10 days – either 10 days following the PCR test date, or 10 days from the date you booked your PCR test following a positive LFD result (this will be specified to you by 111).
  • Monitor  - Some GPs may check in with patients, but you should expect to monitor your own symptoms throughout isolation. If they are getting worse or you feel more unwell, please contact your GP, MEDS, or if life threatening/urgent, call 999.
  • Inform close contacts - Consider who you came into contact with (1. Face-to-face contact with a confirmed case within 2 metres and for more than 15 minutes, or 2. Direct physical contact with a confirmed case) in the 48 hours prior to your positive test and inform them of your positive result.

    Your history won’t be formally contact traced while case numbers remain high, but you may be contacted by a team member to capture important data that helps Public Health IOM and the WHO to understand how Covid-19 spreads. This data is anonymised before it is shared.

  • Release from Isolation - on day 10



What to do if you are identified as a close contact by someone with Covid-19

If you are contacted by someone with Covid-19, it is recommended that you use LFD tests every day for 7 days and stay extra vigilant for symptoms of Covid-19.



What to do if your employee tells you they have tested positive for Covid-19. 

111 will not confirm positive cases with anyone other than the individual, but the contact tracing team can help you to understand the potential impact on your business. It is their responsibility to share this with their workplace, so encourage open communication with your staff members.

All businesses are encouraged and expected to have a risk assessment, you can use our template to assist. Visit this web page and click 'download template ' on the right hand side.

If an employee contacts you to tell you that they have tested positive, implement your business risk assessment and review any close contacts (1. Face-to-face contact with a confirmed case within 2 metres and for more than 15 minutes, or 2. Direct physical contact with a confirmed case) within the workplace - this might be staff or visitors. CCTV, sign in records and conversations with the individual themselves are all helpful tools to do this.

Encourage anyone identified as a close contact to use Lateral Flow Device tests for a period of 7 days, and they should start the process at the top of this page.


How will I be notified if I am a high risk contact?

While cases remain increased, and as we learn to live with Covid, it is not likely that you will be contacted by contact tracing or the 111 call centre as you may have done previously.

You may of course be contacted directly by the positive case ahead of a call, and where possible should consider your position and the risk you may pose to other individuals based on this status.

Anyone identified as a close contacts who does not have symptoms of Covid, is strongly encouraged to use Lateral Flow Device tests for seven days.