The health secretary has been criticised after he laughed during an appearance on Kay Burley's Sky News show after being asked about the launch of the track and trace app.
At Wednesday's coronavirus briefing Hancock announced that the coronavirus track and trace app, which had been trialled in the Isle of Wight, was going to be launched in the UK on Thursday.
Many had questioned if this was being introduced a little hastily and Burley asked if the government had pushed the app forward to distract from the ongoing Dominic Cummings scandal. She said:
The problem is, you’ve rushed it forward haven’t you? Because you want to take the headlines away from Dominic Cummings so you brought it forward. It should have been 1st of June, when the app is being launched at the same time. You’ve had to rush it forward.
An almost maniacal grin came over Hancock's face as a result of this question and he actually began laughing and said:
It’s priceless Kay, I’m normally accused of delaying these things and bringing them in too slowly. I committed to getting the system in in mid-May. You can’t accuse me both of rushing it and of being delayed.
Burley then called Hancock out for laughing and pointed out that even the government had said that the app wasn't ready to be launched.
You said the app was ‘absolutely essential’ to this track and trace. The app is still not ready until next week at the earliest, maybe after that, and yet you’ve brought this forward. I suppose many of my viewers will think it’s not a laughing matter.
Still amused, Hancock replied:
Yes well, I can’t quite work out whether you’re telling me that I’ve gone to slow or I’ve gone too fast. I think we’ve gone at just the right speed.
“It’s priceless Kay, I’m usually accused of delaying these things and bringing them in too slowly.”
@MattHancock d… https://t.co/PCpR797uN3
The government has declared that anyone with coronavirus symptoms will have to self-isolate and then book a Covid-19 test. If a test is positive either the NHS or local health officials will contact them telling them and ask for the details of anyone that person has been in close contact with. Those people will then have to go into isolation for at least 14 days regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.
If a person does test positive they will have to stay at home until the symptoms have cleared and all other members of their household will have to isolate for 14 days.