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Health Secretary Matt Hancock announces details of coronavirus contact tracing app pilot

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced details of a coronavirus contact tracing app pilot that will begin on the Isle of Wight from Tuesday 5 May.

Leading the government's daily briefing, Mr Hancock explained that the app will be available to the Island's 80,000 households. The residents will all receive a letter with comprehensive details about the trial and instructions about how to use the app to document Covid-19 symptoms if they appear.

"From tonight the contact tracing capability will go live and from tomorrow NHS staff on the island will be able to download the app," he said.

The aim of the new test, track and trace programme is to continue to keep the rate of infection below one.

Mr Hancock 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 added.

The Health Secretary said that the scheme will allow the government to take a "more targeted approach to lockdown while safely containing the disease."

“Creating this system is a huge national undertaking of unprecedented scale and complexity," Mr Hancock added.

The announcement comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the UK is "passing through the peak" of the pandemic.

However, Mr Hancock insisted that the social distancing measures still remain in place and won't be eased until the five tests are met.

"This trial does not mean the end of social distancing on the Isle of Wight or anywhere else for that matter," he warned.

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