UK contact-tracing going well, govt says

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock says those asked to isolate by contact-tracers have cooperated.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock says those asked to isolate by contact-tracers have cooperated.

Britain's coronavirus test-and-trace system is working well and some of the thousands of contact-tracers who have been recruited are not yet fully occupied, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says.

"The system is up and running, it's successful. I am very glad to report that those who are asked to isolate by the contact-tracers are expressing the willingness to do so," Hancock said during the government's daily coronavirus briefing on Monday.

"We have more capacity than we need and this is a good thing."

Hancock did not give any data on the number of people who have been contacted under the new system.

The national co-ordinator, John Newton, said the numbers of contacts being identified were "high".

Schoolchildren in some junior years were allowed to return on Monday in many areas of England, under strict social distancing rules, while groups of up to six people were allowed to meet outdoors.

"This will be a moment of joy and relief for many," Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted, urging people to "keep 2 metres away from those you don't live with, and wash your hands regularly".

The United Kingdom's death toll from people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has risen by 111 to 39,049, the government said on Monday.

Australian Associated Press