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4 May 2020, 17:31 | Updated: 4 May 2020, 17:46
Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed at the daily press conference that trial of the app will start this week in the Isle of Wight.
The coronavirus 'test, track and trace' app will be trialled in the Isle of Wight this week, the government confirmed today.
Announcing the news in the press conference this afternoon (4 May), Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that we are now 'in a position' to implement the app because our testing capacity is now as high as 108,000 tests a day.
Speaking about the strategy, he said: "The aim of test, track and trace is to hunt down and isolate the virus so it’s unable to reproduce. Crucially, test, track and trace allows us to make a more targeted approach to lockdown while still safely containing the disease.
"Creating this system is a huge national undertaking of unprecedented scale and complexity. We’ve already taken Britain’s small but brilliant diagnostics industry and taken it to global scale.
"We’re building an army of human contact tracers who can man the phones and find the contacts and support people. And of course we’re developing the contact tracing app that can help us deliver test track and trace on the mass scale that we need."
He added: "Today, I can announce the next steps. From tomorrow, we will begin to pilot test track and trace on the Isle of Wight."
From Thursday, each of the 80,000 households in the Isle of Wight "will get a letter from the chief nurse with comprehensive information about the trial", he added.
The letter will ask people to download the app, and inform it if they have Covid-19 symptoms. It will then alert any people who the user had been in "significant contact" with over the last few days.
He said: "Test, track and trace becomes more effective the lower the number and then we want to keep the number going down by keeping the R below one, the rate of infection.
"Our goal is not simply to flatten the curve, it is to get the occurrence of Covid-19 infections to very low levels."
He also reiterated that introduction of the app does not mean an end to social distancing.