Devon councils get share of £300million to oversee 'test track and trace' coronavirus scheme

Credit: ITV News

Two Devon councils will receive a share of £300million to oversee 'test, track and trace'programmes to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Devon County Council and Torbay Council have been chosen as 'beacon' authorities to implement local plans.

We will be working closely on the Devon plan with Devon County Council.

Steve Darling, Torbay Council leader

Read more: Inside the South West’s coronavirus test and trace centre

Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, is concerned that the scheme will not be fully up and running across Devon until the end of June.

But Devon County Council says it is working hard behind the scenes.

In a statement they said: "These local outbreak plans will supplement and support the national track and trace system launched today and will put local authorities at the forefront of responding swiftly to help manage any local outbreak or hotspot before it spreads too far.

"The expectation is that local plans covering the whole country will be in place by the end of June, but as a beacon council for the South West we expect arrangements in Devon to be place sooner."

We are currently working as fast as we can with all our local partners to build on the great work already done by everyone so far to develop plans that really work for Devon and the wider South West and can help our communities get back up and running again as safely and as soon as possible. A key part of this will be to ensure public trust and confidence in the process locally and we will be making sure we are as transparent as possible and that as many people as possible feel they are a part of this process.

Devon County Council spokesman

Mike Wade, of Public Health England, added that it was a "huge programme" and urged the public to get behind the iniative.

I think it's going to be hugely impactive if people self-isolate at the earliest opportunity and contacts do what they're asked to do.

Mike Wade, Public Health England

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know