The Health Secretary Matt Hancock tonight updated the nation on the crucial process that is aimed at getting the country out of coronavirus lockdown.
The government's flagship pandemic policy now is test, track and trace – and will rely hugely on a new mobile phone app that is being developed.
The policy is being trialled on the Isle of White and Mr Hancock this evening thanked the Island community for its help in this key area.
The app is something that we will all eventually be encouraged to download and use to give a much better indication of who may or may not have the virus.
How it will work
As Mr Hancock explained this evening, those on the Isle of White, and later across the UK, will all be asked to download the app.
If someone develops suspected Covid-19 symptoms, they will be asked to log this on the app and then get tested and isolate themselves if necessary.
But crucially, the app will have used Bluetooth to track who that person has come into contact with – and potentially infected.
Mr Hancock said: "If you become unwell with covid symptoms, you inform the NHS via the app, other users you have spent time with will then be sent an alert to get tested.
"This allows us to take a more targeted approach to lockdown while safely containing the disease."
It will be paired with an army of 18,000 human contact tracers to follow up on those who need further attention, or those who don’t download the app.
Of those, 15,000 would work in a call centre while 3,000 were in the field.
Mr Hancock added: "Building an army of human contact tracers and developing the contact tracing app that will help us deliver test, track and trace on the huge scale that we need."
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Why the Isle of White first?
As the Health Secretary confirmed tonight, the Isle of White's geography means testing of the app and overall policy can more easily be carried out.
He said: "Islanders are at the forefront of getting Britain back on its feet – where the Isle of White goes, Britain follows.
"They have one NHS Trust on the island and the fact it is an island means this can be tested in proper controlled conditions."
What happens now?
The test, track and trace plan has already started to be put together on the Isle of White, with testing ramped up.
Mr Hancock said today: "From tomorrow we will begin to pilot test, track and trace on the Isle of White, starting with health professionals and rolling out to all residents.
Can you help us keep Merseyside covered?
"From tonight we will begin contact tracing and from tomorrow the app will go live. On Thursday all 80,000 households will get letter with instructions and told to download the app."
Why test, track and trace?
This is seen as the only way of providing enough information about the virus to even begin to start lifting lockdown restrictions.
Countries like South Korea have seen great success in halting the spread of the virus by keeping a track on who has been in touch with an infected person and asking them to isolate, so the virus does not spread further.
When will the full policy be rolled out?
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At the Downing Street press conference tonight, Mr Hancock was asked when the whole country will taking part in test, track and trace.
He said: "The aim is to have the whole thing up and running by the middle of this month."