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.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Britain could bring in tough, local lockdowns -like they have in South Korea, pictured – as early as ThursdayCredit: 2015 Getty Images
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.”
The government’s testing boss John Newton confirmed the new lockdowns would be mandatory.
Matt Hancock in his press conference today confirmed The Sun’s revelation that contact tracers will have sweeping powersCredit: Crown Copyright
OPEN HOUSEBrits to be able to have garden BBQs with pals & see grandparents next month
BORIS NEEDS FIRST AIDEPM won’t sack Dominic Cummings despite Tory civil war breaking out
DAN WOOTTONDon’t believe for a second that Cummings scandal is not politically-motivated
LOOK AGAINFines for rule breakers over childcare could be reviewed after Cummings row
NEARLY THEREHancock suggests 4 out of 5 tests for lifting lockdown met after huge PPE deal
Public Health England boss Professor Newton added: “Test and trace is a very important contribution.
“It will not be a request, it will be an instruction.”
A new mobile phone app that alerts users when they have been in close contact with new sufferers won’t be introduced until later next month.
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW
Don’t miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.
To receive The Sun’s Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.
To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.
Get Britain’s best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.