COVID-19: Sunak urges workers to return to office as ministers plan to make NHS COVID app ‘less sensitive’

COVID-19: Sunak urges workers to return to office as ministers plan to make NHS COVID app ‘less sensitive’

Rishi Sunak is urging workers to return to the office – at the same time as ministers plan emergency measures to reduce the number of people in quarantine.

The Chancellor said he wanted as many people as possible, especially younger ones, to return to normal work as soon as the homework orientation is lifted on July 19.

But his appeal risks being undermined by the threat that hundreds of thousands of workers will be forced into self-quarantine in the weeks leading up to the end of self-isolation for those fully vaccinated on August 16.

A government source told Sky News the mass isolation would be ‘another back door lockdown’ and confirmed ministers are planning changes to the NHS COVID-19[feminine[feminine application.

Plans to change the app emerged after Mr Sunak told Sky News he spoke to Health Secretary Sajid Javid on the public frustration with the Test and Trace system.

And the Chancellor has now told the Daily Telegraph that working remotely during the pandemic has put young workers at a disadvantage because face-to-face interactions are valuable.

“I think for young people, especially this ability to be in your office, to be in your workplace and to learn from others more directly, is something really important and I look forward to seeing us there. coming back slowly, ”Sunak said.

But coinciding with the Chancellor’s return-to-work call, Sky News understands Whitehall is worried about what to do about the number of people who should be asked to self-isolate in the five weeks leading up to August 16.

The Department of Health has confirmed to other parts of Whitehall that it is considering a plan to make the COVID The Bluetooth app works less responsive, Sky News has learned.

The Daily Mail also reports that the self-isolation system will be watered down within days, fearing it could cripple the economy and public services this summer.

Ministers have ordered an urgent review of the app over fears it will bring the system into disrepute by ordering too many people to self-isolate.

They say the app’s “sensitivity” will be reduced to reduce the number of people being asked to quarantine unnecessarily, the newspaper reports.

The latest self-isolation figures show there were 356,036 app alerts in England for the week ending June 30, up 62% from the previous week.

But some in Whitehall want Mr Javid to go further, Sky News understands.

Statistics show that during this week 135,685 people tested positive and 281,500 people were told they had come into contact with someone with COVID and needed to self-isolate.

In his statement in the Commons on Tuesday announcing the end of self-isolation for people in England with two jabs and those under 18, Mr Javid predicted 100,000 cases per day.

That suggests 700,000 cases each week, with 1.4 million quarantines.

Whitehall insiders told Sky News that limiting the app will not reduce those numbers.

A source said government modeling done when Matt Hancock The health secretary suggested the scale could be devastating for public transport and healthcare staffing levels.

Some in Whitehall would believe the exit test is the answer, noting Cabinet Minister Michael Gove took advantage of it after to be nuts on his return from the Chelsea-Manchester City Champions League final in Porto in May.

A pilot program in Liverpool also found that 3,200 working days of key personnel were similarly protected from quarantine.

But senior government sources have played down that option, telling Sky News that exit testing is not the focus of discussion and that ministers are mainly considering changing the app.


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