Tough local lockdowns to rapidly isolate new coronavirus sufferers could be thrown in place from Thursday, The Sun can reveal.
Boris Johnson plans to announce the government’s crucial new ‘track and trace’ programme to stamp out new coronavirus contagion trails tomorrow.
He will say it will go live either on Thursday or Friday, when an army of 25,000 contact tracers will begin work hunting down new cases.
Whole towns could face lockdown if there are regional flare-ups and schools, businesses or workplaces may be closed.
The PM pledged to introduce the new contact tracing system - that has proved highly successful in South Korea and Germany - by June 1.
But it is being rushed forward in a bid to give parents and teachers comfort that it is safe for some primary school classes to return on Monday.
Getting track and trace up and running is a key condition set down by unions for schools to reopen, as well as the government’s scientific advisers.
Mr Johnson could use his grilling in front of the Commons' powerful Liaison Committee on Wednesday afternoon to make the announcement.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Tuesday confirmed The Sun’s revelation last week that the contact tracers will have sweeping powers to order whole schools, office blocks or streets into isolation.
He told the daily No10 briefing: “We will have local lockdowns in future where there are flare-ups.
“We have a system we are putting in place with a combination of Public Health England and the new Joint Biosecurity Centre.”
Mr Hancock added: “It’s incredibly important people play their part.
“People aren’t going to be doing this for me, it will be for their loved ones.”
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