UK to Start System to Trace COVID-19 Contacts

By Updated at 2020-05-03 23:55:24 +0000


LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will trial a new coronavirus tracing programme next week on the Isle of Wight, just off the south coast of England, cabinet minister Michael Gove said on Sunday as the government looks at how to minimise the risk of a second wave of infection.

Suffering one of the worst death tolls in Europe from COVID-19, Britain is confident that the peak of the virus has passed and is now looking at how to restart its shuttered economy and ease social restrictions on citizens.

“This week we will be piloting new test, track and trace procedures on the Isle of Wight with a view to having that in place more widely later this month,” Gove told a news conference. 

A mass testing system along with the ability to trace people who have been in contact with those who test positive are seen as crucial to preventing a second spike and facilitating the relaxation of a lockdown which has lasted almost six weeks.

Gove said the system being trialled next week would include asking citizens on the island to download a smartphone app as well as traditional ways of tracing those who have come into contact with a patient who has tested positive. 

“We will be able to make sure that people who are suffering from the virus ... they and their contacts can be encouraged to stay at home, so that we can limit the potential of any outbreak,” Gove said. 

The Isle of Wight has around 80,000 households. 

Reporting by William James; Editing by Estelle Shirbon


UK Economy Will Suffer Devastating Consequences of COVID 19 

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s economy could shrink by 13% this year due to the government’s coronavirus shutdown, its deepest recession in three centuries, and public borrowing is set to surge to a post-World War Two high, the country’s budget forecasters said. In the April-June period alone, e...
2020-04-14 19:37:59

UK Is Significantly UnderReporting Covid-19 Deaths 

LONDON (Reuters) - The United Kingdom’s true death toll from the novel coronavirus far exceeds estimates previously published by the government, according to broader official data that include deaths in the community such as in nursing homes. Even before the new figures, the official British d...
2020-04-14 18:32:21

UK to Adapt Apple, Google's Coronavirus Tracking Tool 

(Reuters) - The technology arm of the National Health Service has been working on a mobile phone app with Alphabet Inc’s Google and iPhone maker Apple that the government hopes will help in ending the coronavirus lockdown, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. The system will use Bluetooth tec...
2020-04-12 07:06:43

Boris Johnson Back on His Feet as UK Death Toll Hits 9000 

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson was back on his feet in his recovery from COVID-19 on Friday as Britain recorded its deadliest day yet in the coronavirus pandemic, with 980 more deaths taking the country's overall toll to nearly 9,000.
2020-04-11 06:57:46

Bank of England Allows UK Government To Run Up An Unlimited Overdraft 

LONDON (Reuters) - In London, the Bank of England said it would allow Britain’s government to run up an unlimited overdraft as the state promises to pay wages to millions of people laid off during shutdown, cut taxes for businesses and expand its welfare system. With central banks around the ...
2020-04-10 14:33:45

Boris Johnson Condition Worsens, UK's Death Toll Rises to 5,373 

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital after his coronavirus symptoms dramatically worsened Monday, just a day after he was admitted for what were said to be routine tests.
2020-04-06 23:24:35

UK Police to Enforce Coronavirus Pandemic Lockdown 

LONDON — A woman is told to go home by a police officer on a motorbike to stop the spread of coronavirus and keep the park open for people observing the British government's guidance of social distancing, only using parks for dog walking, one form of exercise a day, like a run, walk, or cycle alo...
2020-04-05 20:14:39

Brexit: EU, UK Negotiate Future Relationship 

LONDON (Reuters) - British and EU officials are holding informal talks on the future relationship, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, repeating that Britain is still working towards the end of this year to end a transition period “The transition period ends on the 31...
2020-03-30 19:12:36

EU: Lots of Problematic Issues in UK’s Latest Brexit Proposal 

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday pointed to a number of problematic issues in Britain’s latest Brexit proposal, saying that more discussions were needed. “Accepting such a proposal would not meet all the objectives of the backstop: preventing a...
2019-10-03 17:28:04

UK's Johnson Loses Control 

LONDON (Reuters) - The British parliament voted on Wednesday to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking Britain out of the European Union without a deal on Oct. 31, but rejected his first bid to call a snap election two weeks before the scheduled exit. After wresting control of the day’s p...
2019-09-07 01:55:13

Pelosi: US, UK Trade deal Won't Pass Congress if Good Friday pact Is Undermined

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There is no chance that a trade agreement between the United States and Britain will pass Congress if Brexit undermines the Good Friday peace accord between Ireland and Northern Ireland, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday. “Whatever form it takes, Brexit c...
2019-08-14 16:02:03

US, UK Seek Quick Post-Brexit Trade Deal 

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and the United States are discussing a partial trade accord that could take effect on Nov. 1, the day after Britain is due to leave the European Union, a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday. The official also said visiting U.S. national security advi...
2019-08-13 18:20:56

No-Deal Brexit Would Cause Severe Damage to UK 

A no-deal Brexit would cause “severe” damage to UK businesses, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the lobby group, told BBC that quitting the EU without an agreement should be an option “that is not even considered”. Claims that fir...
2019-07-29 03:42:16

2 Finalists in UK Leadership Race Make Pitch to Tory Members 

LONDON (AP) — The two finalists in the race to lead Britain’s governing Conservative Party — and become the country’s new prime minister — made their first formal pitches to party members Saturday, both vowing to be the right man to deliver Brexit. Ex-foreign secretary and former London mayor ...
2019-06-22 20:51:35

UK’s Johnson Threatens to Withhold $50 Billion Brexit Payment 

(Reuters) - Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s next prime minister, said he would withhold a previously agreed 39 billion pound ($50 billion) Brexit payment until the European Union gives Britain better exit terms. The EU has repeatedly said it will not re...
2019-06-09 01:46:56

Tearful Theresa May Quits as UK Prime Minister 

LONDON (Reuters) - Fighting back tears, Theresa May said on Friday she would quit after failing to deliver Brexit, setting up a contest that will install a new British prime minister who could pursue a cleaner break with the European Union. May’s departure deepens the Brexit crisis as a new le...
2019-05-25 03:17:25

Still Unclear How, When or If UK Will Ever Indeed Quit EU 

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday she would seek another Brexit delay to agree an EU divorce deal with the opposition Labour leader, a last-ditch gambit to break an impasse over Britain’s departure that enraged many in her party. Nearly three years since the United ...
2019-04-02 20:57:13

UK's Theresa May delays vote on Brexit until March 12 

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May promised on Sunday to offer lawmakers a vote on her Brexit deal by March 12, the latest delay in her attempt to win approval for a plan to ensure Britain’s orderly departure from the European Union. As the United Kingdom’s labyrinth...
2019-02-25 18:01:20