Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
20 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Lunchtime summary: Track and trace ready by 1 June, but how good will it be?

By Samuel Horti

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged that the government’s coronavirus track and trace system, which comprises an NHS app and 25,000 contact tracers, will be ready by 1 June – but how complete it will be remains to be seen. 

Johnson said the contact tracers would be able to track up to 10,000 new Covid-19 infections every day. But earlier, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, who said he was merely “hoping” the app would be ready by 1 June, said the system would not be “fully developed” for several weeks. “I think it won’t necessarily be as widespread and as full-blown as we would like, I think that would develop over the next several weeks, over the next month or so.”

Government scientific advisers have warned that the system must be up, running, and working effectively before schools are reopened, as some are scheduled to do on 1 June, which means the quality of the scheme matters a great deal. A barebones system will not be enough.

In other news, Rolls-Royce announced plans to cut 9,000 jobs and the head of a pilots’ union accused airlines of exaggerating the impact of the pandemic in order to reduce staff numbers.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. 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. 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.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

(Image credit: TOLGA AKMEN / AFP)