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U.K. Won’t Have Key Tool in Place to Lift Lockdown Until Mid-May

  • Contact-tracing app is three weeks away, says Hancock
  • British Airways redundancies show economic cost of lockdown
A member of Britain’s Royal Air Force tests a beta version of the NHS contact-tracing app.

A member of Britain’s Royal Air Force tests a beta version of the NHS contact-tracing app.

Source: RAF

Updated on

The U.K. government is around three weeks from releasing the tool it says is essential to easing the current coronavirus lockdown, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, in a sign current restrictions are likely to largely continue until at least the second half of May.

The government has said it sees a “test, track and trace” system as the way to ensure that Covid-19 infections don’t take off again as the lockdown is eased. That requires the recruitment of 18,000 “contact tracers” to identify people who might have been exposed to the virus, as well as the release of a mobile phone app that will do part of that job automatically.