He said the new regime is the start of replacing the national closure with “individual isolation” for those who have been in contact with the coronavirus, as well as “local action where there is a need to respond to a surge” .
Hancock said it would allow them to “hunt down the virus” to find out who was infected, saying at the Downing Street briefing: “We all have our part to play.
“This is a national effort and we all have a role to play. If you have symptoms, you should isolate yourself immediately and have a test. “
Hancock said contact tracing would allow an NHS clinician and the infected person to work together “like detectives” to identify possible movements of the virus.
He continued, “We must all follow the NHS test and traceability instructions, because that is how we control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. “
Hancock said, “If you experience symptoms, isolate immediately and have a test.
“If you are contacted by the NHS test and trace asking you to isolate, you must.”
“It is your civic duty, so you unknowingly avoid spreading the virus and help break the chain of transmission.”
NHS Test Executive President and Trace Baroness Dido Harding explained how the new system would work.
Baroness Harding said: “I want you to feel safe and confident that you will play an active role in NHS Test and Trace, for yourself, your loved ones and our country. We need you to follow the following three steps:
“Step one – if you have one or more of the symptoms of coronavirus, fever, a continuous cough, or a loss of taste or smell, you should isolate yourself immediately.
“Step two – you must then book a test at NHS.uk/coronavirus, or if you do not have internet access, dial 119. Do not leave the house for any other reason.
“If your test is positive, you will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service within 24 hours. All contact tracers have received training and introduction before the start of this week and before starting work. “
Hancock also said that the NHS in England has the capacity to perform 161,000 tests per day, saying at the Downing Street briefing: “Because of this increased capacity, I can announce that we are further expanding eligibility.
“Starting tomorrow, we are expanding testing eligibility to include those under the age of 5 so that everyone who has symptoms of coronavirus can get tested, regardless of age. “