Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
24 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Government trial will use drones to deliver medicines

   

By Samuel Horti

The government is testing the use of drones to deliver medical supplies and equipment during the coronavirus crisis, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

The trial will begin next week, and drones will carry supplies from the mainland to St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle Of Wight. 

The government awarded £8m earlier this year to Southampton and Portsmouth councils to test drones to deliver goods, and it’s this scheme that will be used to test the delivery of medical supplies. 

The news came as Shapps announced a series of measures designed to shore up rail, freight and ferry links in and out of the UK. 

The government has secured a trilateral agreement with the governments of France and Ireland to ensure services keep running on key freight routes, he said. The government is also committing up to £17m to protect ferry routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and £10.5m to support links to both the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them