Police may have access to contact details of people who have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate.
The Department of Health and Social Welfare (DHCS) said the armed forces will have “case-by-case” access to information that will allow them to determine if a person has been asked to self-isolate.
And it could result in a fine.
The move comes as the DHSC updated its online guide on how to deal with coronavirus test data on Friday.
People who fail to self-isolate “without adequate justification” could give their name, address and contact details to their local authority and then to the police, according to the DHSC website.
“This can lead to enforcement actions being taken against you, which may include a fine,” the online guide reads.
“A police force can request information about positive Covid-19 tests directly from the NHS Test and Trace program, where they will examine a report from someone who may not be complying with the mandatory self-isolation period.”
The Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported that England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, feared the move would deter people from being tested.
People in England are required by law to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus.
Those who fail to do so will face fines from £ 1,000 and up to £ 10,000 for repeat offenders or serious violations.
Individuals who test positive must isolate for 10 days after showing symptoms or their test date if they have no symptoms, while members of their household must isolate for 14 days.
A DHSC spokesman said: “It is a legal requirement that people who test positive for Covid-19 and their close contacts, self-isolate when officially asked to do so.
“The Department of Health and Welfare has agreed a memorandum of understanding with the National Police Chiefs Council so that police forces can access information on a case-by-case basis to determine if a particular person has been notified.
“The Memorandum of Understanding ensures that information is exchanged with appropriate safeguards and in accordance with the law. No test or health data is shared in this process. “
A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs Council said: “Policing continues to play a role in limiting the spread of coronavirus.
“We will continue to promote voluntary compliance, but enforce regulations and issue FPNs (fixed criminal charges) if necessary. When people fail to self-isolate and refuse to comply, officials can issue FPNs and instruct people to return to self-isolation.
“The officers will contact individuals to determine their circumstances, and they will do so at their own discretion, wherever reasonable.”