England’s test and trace programme to launch on Thursday, PM Johnson says

LONDON (Reuters) – A COVID-19 test and trace service will launch in England on Thursday to help the loosening of lockdown measures, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

“We are also saying from tomorrow, and this is an important development, that there is a new test and trace operation which will change people’s lives and which will require a great deal of thought and compliance but which I think will be worth it for the whole nation,” Johnson told a committee of lawmakers on Wednesday.

The service, which will have a taskforce of 50,000 people to test and identify the contacts of anyone who tests positive for the virus, will not initially include the app that is key to finding anonymous contacts. The government did not give a date for when the smartphone technology would be deployed.

Reporting by Paul Sandle, William James and William Schomberg, editing by Elizabeth Piper

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