Test and trace 'live' tomorrow as PM again defends Cummings

Tameside Council leader Brenda Warrington said that recovery from the pandemic will be a ‘part of life’ for all residents and businesses

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said, "We will have local lockdowns in the future where there are flare ups and we have a system that we are putting in place with a combination of Public Health England and the new Joint Bio-Security Centre.to make sure of there is a local flare up we have a local lockdown".

The UK government has formally launched the country's test and trace programme with Scotland earlier announcing that its own scheme would start from tomorrow.

This means that should there be a virus "hotspot" in a particular town, street estate, business or school then a lockdown could be placed in a small area for a short while to try and stop the virus spreading further in that small area, whilst the rest of the country can go about its daily life with slightly fewer restrictions.

People with coronavirus will have their contacts traced under the scheme, which aims to cut off routes of transmission for the virus and control local flare-ups.

Mr Hancock said testing and tracing must become a "new way of life".

"And so local lockdowns will be part of the future system that we put in place as part of the NHS test-and-trace system".

"Yesterday 2013 people tested positive and the next step is that through contact tracing, like detectives, the NHS clinician from NHS test and trace and the person who tested positive work together to identify the possible movements of the virus, where it has been, who else might have been infected".

"We will be asking people to stay at home".

If you are contacted by the team and asked to self isolate, your household members do not need to as well, but should continue to follow the general public guidelines.

If it is negative, the contact must still complete their initial 14-day isolation period.

United Kingdom health secretary Matt Hancock.

Baroness Harding said the Government could impose restrictions and fines on those who do not comply with the rules, but said ministers were not setting out to be punitive.

Mr Johnson responded: "Your point about the message - I respectfully disagree. If you get a call from an NHS (National Health Service) contact tracer, you must isolate", said Hancock.

The government, whose separate tally of deaths confirmed by a positive test now stands at 37,460, has faced sustained criticism over its handling of the crisis.

Prof Newton said the standard symptoms to report were fever, continuous cough and a loss of smell or taste, but said "we need to have a pretty low threshold for offering people tests".

It comes as separate report, based on six volunteers tracking 58 people, found two-thirds of people did not fully co-operate, and most of those worked in the NHS or social care.

Those contacts will be told that, if they develop symptoms, they should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

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