Boris ‘could cut 14-day self-isolation by HALF for Test and Trace contacts of infected people’ as Brits ignoring rule

BORIS Johnson could cut the 14-day self-isolation period by half over fears Brits are ignoring the Test and Trace system.

Experts working on the Prime Minister’s coronavirus taskforce are reportedly questioning whether the current period should be cut down to between seven and ten days.

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Tory backbenchers are becoming concerned with the nation’s response to the current Test and Trace system, The Telegraph reports.

New Sage documents revealed just one in ten Brits stay home for two weeks when told to self-isolate.

The Test and Trace system was also given a beating by the country's top scientists who admitted it doesn't work when the number of new coronavirus cases is too high.

Mr Johnson is said to have become “disillusioned” with Test and Trace statistics after it was proved some were incorrect.

'DOESN'T WORK'

A Downing Street source told the paper the two-week isolation period will now be reviewed after insufficient numbers of Brits were following the strict rules.

Fresh ideas include offering people tests after isolating for seven days – and allowing them to stop quarantining if they provide a negative result.

As is stands, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus is told to self-isolate for 10 days.

Others that live with someone who has symtpoms – or if they've been contacted by Test and Trace – must self-isolate for 14 days.

A No 10 source told the paper: "Compliance is not as high as we would like and self-isolation is key if we are going to beat the virus."

Earlier this week it was revealed that the contact tracing system missed more than 250,000 close contacts of people who tested positive for the virus.

And only 15 per cent of people received test results back within 24 hours.

Compliance is not as high as we would like and self-isolation is key if we are going to beat the virus."

The NHS Test and Trace system has been consistently missing 40 per cent of contacts over four months, according to analysis by the Labour party.

Senior Tory, Sir Bernard Jenkin, chairman of the Liaison Committee, described a “vacuum of leadership in Test and Trace”.

He slammed the handling of data management and a “spaghetti of command and control” at the top of the system.

Sir Bernard called for Baroness Harding, the head of Test and Trace, to be given a “well-earned break”.

He said: “Announcing fresh targets (now 500,000 tests a day by the end of October) does not instil confidence, because people lack faith that there is a coherent plan.

“Instead, ministers should see this as an opportunity to make changes, to show we are all learning from experience.

"This change must be visible and decisive … the immediate priority is to fill the vacuum of leadership in Test and Trace."  

'MAKE CHANGES'

Mark Harper, a former chief whip, also voiced the concern within the Tory backbench and said: "The contact tracing simply isn't good enough.

"We are running out of time to make it work properly."

New data shows that just 10.9 per cent of people who were contacted by NHS Test and Trace isolated for 14 days.

The data is based on 31,000 people contacted between March 2 and August 5.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “Dido Harding and her leadership team – drawn from the military, public and private sectors – have built the largest diagnostic industry the UK has ever seen.

“It is the equivalent of building an operation the size of Tesco in a matter of months.

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“The NHS Test and Trace system has built a testing capacity of 400,000 tests a day, from a starting point of 2,000 a day in March.

"This capacity is bigger per head than France, Germany, Italy and Spain and we have contacted over 1.1million people and asked them to self-isolate.

“We need to improve in areas and we are very much focused on that, but we should be talking it up, not down.

“Fighting Covid-19 requires everyone to play their part, if you have symptoms you should get tested and self-isolate.”



 

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