UK confident COVID-19 tracking system will be place before lockdown eased

Henrietta Brewer
May 22, 2020

Britain is now testing a COVID-19 smartphone app - based on Bluetooth - on the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England where the government says more than half the residents had downloaded it.

On Thursday morning, security minister James Brokenshire said he was "confident" the system would be in place by 1 June.

"We have growing confidence that we will have a test, track and trace operation that will be world-beating and yes, it will be in place by June 1", Jonnson said.

The NHS Confederation, a group which represents the health service's organisations, said the United Kingdom was at risk of a second jump in cases without clarity on government strategy.


He told Sky News that the app "will be introduced in the coming weeks in parallel" with the system employing track and trace staff.

It also means moving away from the model preferred by Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google, and that could mean the app works less well on phones using the companies' operating systems.

"We would therefore urge you to produce such a strategy with a clear implementation plan ahead of any further easing of the lockdown", he wrote.

But Downing Street said experts were "carefully studying" the findings on the Isle of Wight and "expect to be able to improve the app based on user feedback".


"But delivery and implementation will be critical, and we await further details", he added.

Hancock said on May 12 that "we're rolling out in mid-May" and "we're pleased with progress" from the Isle of Wight trial.

Test, track and trace - TTT - means testing people for coronavirus, tracking the spread of the virus, then tracing the people with whom an infected person has come into contact.

Britain's tracing coordinator John Newton said the app would complement conventional contact-tracing, which was used in the early stage of Britain's pandemic before being abandoned as the numbers of cases soared.


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