Covid-19 Response

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:37 pm on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 3:37 pm, 18th May 2020

We have been working very closely with the SNP Scottish Government on testing, so I am slightly surprised at some of the questions from the SNP spokeswoman. Of course the tests are not double-counted. There has been a ramp up in testing capacity. I am very glad to see in Scotland that testing capacity is now starting to rise—in the latest figures, it was up to around 5,000. I work very closely with my SNP opposite number on making sure that everybody has the very best capacity. The contact tracing system was also stopped in Scotland. The reason was that the number of cases right across the UK became very high. We needed social distancing to bring that number down. Now that that number is coming down right across the UK, contact tracing is once again effective. That is the reason we are bringing it in now, and I am pleased that we have hired 21,000 contact tracers in England to ensure that we can get it going. Therefore we are on track for the current proposed 1 June changes. That date is dependent on making sure that everything is right, and that it is safe to make the changes then.