Politics

What Scots need to know from Thursday’s 5pm Downing Street briefing

Vaccines- Over-50s first in the queue

Matt Hancock set out who could be first in line for a coronavirus vaccine if one is proven to be effective.

Priority would be given to frontline health and social care workers, the over-50s and those with heart and kidney disease.

He said: “As we learn more about the virus we will continue to take into account which groups may be particularly vulnerable, including, for example, those from ethnic minority backgrounds so that we can protect the most at risk first, should a vaccine become available, and get this country back on our feet as soon as we possibly can.”

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Test and trace app abandoned

But Hancock remained optimistic. He said the NHSX app was better at measuring distance than the Google/Apple model.

“As it stands, our app won’t work because Apple won’t change their system, but it can measure distance. And their app can’t measure distance well enough to a standard that we are satisfied with.”

Hancock said what matters is what works: “So we have agreed to join forces with Google and Apple to bring the best bits of both systems together.”

He would not  put a date on when the app will be finally delivered having promised a “world-beating” app by mid-May. “We are working on it”, is all he would say.

Shorter distance

With Northern Ireland announcing that schools will abandon the two-metre rule for one metre social distancing the pressure is on health ministers in England, Scotland and Wales to do the same.

Hancock gave a strong hint on schools relaxing social distancing for full return in autumn. He said: “I get the interaction between the 2 metre rule and getting back to school”



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