Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that a new test and trace system will be launched tomorrow.
Despite the enthusiasm surrounding the NHS tracking app, the test and trace system will go live from tomorrow morning (28th May) minus the use of the app.
The system will see anybody who has been in contact with a COVID-positive person told to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not develop symptoms during this time.
The system is widely expected to allow for a return towards normality, as cases of the disease can be isolated in an attempt to keep the R rate below 1.
Test and trace will see all those testing positive for the Coronavirus providing details of people whom they have been in contact with, with those people to then be contacted and asked to isolate for 14 days.
Although without the app it is difficult to track down those individuals who have been in contact with COVID-positive peoples whom they do not have a prior relationship with, it is a step towards opening up the country and returning to normality.
Speaking at the parliamentary liaison committee, Boris Johnson said: “I would just say to everybody that it’s worth it because that is the tool that other countries have used to unlock the prison”.
He stated that the number of people that would be told to isolate due to COVID-tracking would be a “tiny minority”, which will “allow us gradually to release 66 million people from the current situation”.
The scheme will rely on an army of 25,000 contact tracers who have been recruited to track down all of those who have been in contact with COVID-positive peoples. It is unclear as to whether the app – which has been trialled on the Isle of Wight – will still form a part of the tracing scheme at a later date.
It is unclear how effective this system will be, as the government will not immediately be fining individuals who refuse to self isolate if they have been in contact with a person who is COVID-positive.