UK Delays Virus App Roll-Out in Setback for Easing Lockdown

Bob Seely- Writing his acceptance speech

Bob Seely- Writing his acceptance speech

As the United Kingdom prepares for a national rollout of a full trace and test programme, the Isle of Wight continues to provide invaluable feedback to inform the use of a contact tracing app as part of this.

But he couldn't give a definite date of when that would be.

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.

That led to belief it would be by the end of this week.

In the past few days, the Island's MP Bob Seely has spoken with a range of public sector professionals - who continue to analyse the operation of the app (and the wider trace and test scheme) - as well as Government Ministers. "When it comes to launching the test and tracing programme, we will begin with the tracing, not with the app".

"That programme is absolutely key in the next steps we need to take as a country to come through this pandemic safely and responsibly", Mr Raab said this evening. This allows the National Health Service to gather more information about how the virus is spreading, but it has privacy risks.

Schools should remain closed - Parent-Teacher Association
Therefore, we are not preparing for reopening but for increasing the number of children who are in school. Teaching unions have also said they don't believe children and staff can return safely by June 1.

"The app remains an important part of the trace and test programme which the United Kingdom is putting in place".

It comes as The Independent reports that the app will not be ready for 1 June, when Downing Street plans to relax lockdown restrictions further.

Critics have blasted the Government for stopping track and trace, and have insisted it cold have saved lives.

"That is obviously something that happened previously and it is perfectly positioned to do that again".

Dr Bill Mitchell, director of policy at BCS, said there is still support for the idea of using an app, and that if the concerns are addressed it could ensure the take-up figure reaches the 60% that is expected to provide a real impact on stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

He says the team will "help manually trace the contacts of anyone who's had a positive test and advise them on whether they need to isolate". They have rigorous training with detailed procedures designed by our experts at Public Health England. Slack said 17,000 have already been hired and are being trained.

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