Coronavirus: Evening update as UK switches tracing app models

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Thursday evening. We’ll have another update for you on Friday morning.

1. Hancock defends switching tracing app to new model

The UK is abandoning the development of its coronavirus-tracing app and shifting to a model based on technology provided by Apple and Google. Health Secretary Matt Hancock defended the decision at the Downing Street daily briefing, saying testing of the NHSX app on the Isle of Wight uncovered a “technical barrier”. The government now intends to launch an app in the autumn, after originally saying one would be ready for England – and possibly other parts of the UK – by 1 June.

2. Bank’s £100bn to aid UK economy

The Bank of England is to inject an extra £100bn into the UK economy to help fight the coronavirus-induced downturn. The move comes just days after Bank governor Andrew Bailey said policymakers were ready to take action after the economy suffered its biggest monthly contraction on record. However, the Bank said there was growing evidence the hit to the economy would be “less severe” than initially feared.

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3. Tracers failing to reach one in four with coronavirus

The test and trace system in England has been unable to reach more than one in four people, data shows. The service was given the details of 14,000 people to follow up in the first two weeks of operation to 10 June, but fewer than 10,200 could be reached. It came as a study by the Office for National Statistics suggested the decline in the rates of infection may have stalled.

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4. NI schools to follow 1m social distancing

Social distancing of 1m is “safe and appropriate” for children and young people at school, the Northern Ireland Executive has agreed. Education Minister Peter Weir said the measure – a relaxing of the normal social distancing guidance of 2m – will allow “full classes to attend” school. It comes as the UK government is in the process of carrying out a review into the 2m social distancing rule.

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Schools are due to return on 24 August in Northern Ireland

5. Shops in Scotland to reopen this month

Most shops in Scotland are to reopen from 29 June as part of a further easing of the country’s lockdown rules. It was also announced that anyone who lives on their own – or only with children – will be able to form an “extended group” with one other household from tomorrow. The measures were announced by the country’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

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And don’t forget…

… you can read more about who should be shielding, with our updated guide.

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page and get the latest in our live page.

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