10 Aug 2020

Coronavirus contact tracers to be cut in England

Health and Social Care Editor

Thousands of NHS test-and-trace staff will lose their jobs by the end of August. The remaining 12,000 staff will work alongside local public health teams to reach people who may be infected.

The decision comes after the prime minister has pledged to “do the right thing” and get all children back to school next month. But Boris Johnson continues to face criticism of England’s test-and-trace system, with unions and teachers saying it needs to be improved before schools open in three weeks.

Today, the Trade Union Congress and the Mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool said that if the system was to work, people needed to be paid to self-isolate.

In today’s other main developments, there were 21 deaths recorded, bringing the total 46,526. The number of cases in the UK has risen by 816 today.