‘Ludicrous’ testing system needs to be more localised, says health official

A public health official suggested making Test and Trace more localised to help reach more people, as he described the centralised system as "ludicrous".

Ivan Browne, director of public health for Leicester, said the Government needs to change its narrative when it comes to easing restrictions, as he expressed his concerns over schemes such as Eat Out To Help Out.

His comments came as the latest weekly NHS Test and Trace figures showed a drop in the 24-hour turnaround target for coronavirus "in-person" test results to just two-thirds, despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledging that all such tests would be back within that timeframe by the end of June.

The weekly figures showed that 67.4% who were tested for Covid-19 in the week ending August 5 at a regional site or mobile testing unit received their result within 24 hours – down from 76.9% in the previous week and 90.7% in the week to July 1.

Overall, 74.2% of close contacts were reached in the week ending August 5, up from 72.4% in the previous week, but down on the 90.7% reached in the first week of Test and Trace at the beginning of June.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

The trend of local health protection teams being more successful than call centre workers at reaching close contacts of people who have tested positive continued.

Figures covering the whole 10-week period of the system showed that, in cases handled by local health protection teams, 97.9% of close contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate, but for cases handled either online or by call centres, just 56.7% of close contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate.

On Thursday, the Government also announced the launch of a new trial of its contact tracing app for England.

While the app – which will be trialled by the Isle of Wight once again alongside NHS volunteer responders from Thursday, and the London Borough of Newham from next week – has been hailed as a "a great step forward" by Test and Trace chief Baroness Dido Harding, it is hoped it will support the ongoing efforts by local health protection teams and call centre workers.

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Coronavirus impacts Britain
Actors dressed as a pantomime dames pose for photographers as they march on Parliament to demand more support for the theatre sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic in London, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
LLANDUDNO - SEPTEMBER 30: People walk on Llandudno Pier before new Covid-19 regulations come into effect on September 30, 2020 in Llandudno, United Kingdom. New local lockdown measures will come into force for people living in in Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham at 18:00 BST on Thursday. The new regulations will include no travel outside the areas where people live. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A sign in the window of Birley Halls student accommodation at Manchester Metropolitan University, Tuesday Sept. 29, 2020, after students have been forced to self-isolate at the university following a surge in COVID-19 cases. U.K. authorities are trying to contain COVID-19 outbreaks at universities as some students complained they were being “imprisoned” in their dormitories  Students at universities in Glasgow, Manchester and Edinburgh who have returned to campus in the past few weeks are being asked to self-isolate in their residence halls, with security guards at some schools preventing young people from leaving their buildings. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)
Photo by: zz/KGC-247/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 9/29/20 Demonstrators are seen on September 29, 2020 in Parliament Square protesting the government mandated closure of the Live Entertainment Arts and Exhibition Events Industries in The United Kingdom due to the ongoing worldwide coronavirus pandemic. (London, England, UK)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Students from Glasgow University look out of the windows of the student accommodation at Murano Street student village on September 28, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. The Scottish government clarified on Sunday that university students whose accommodation has been placed under covid-19 restrictions are still able to return home, provided they have a "reasonable excuse," such as a family emergency. Hundreds of university students across Scotland have recently tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
A man wears a face mask as he passes decorated air vents as part of the London Mural Festival in the City of London, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Lawmakers and scientists have criticized Johnson's Conservative government for problems with the national test-and-trace program that was supposed to help control the spread of the disease and reduce the need for limits on social interactions. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
People are silhouetted as they walk over Millennium Bridge in London, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Lawmakers and scientists have criticized Johnson's Conservative government for problems with the national test-and-trace program that was supposed to help control the spread of the disease and reduce the need for limits on social interactions. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Ruislip High School in his constituency of Uxbridge, west London, Monday Sept. 28, 2020. Lawmakers and scientists have criticized Johnson's Conservative government for problems with the national test-and-trace program that was supposed to help control the spread of the disease and reduce the need for limits on social interactions. (Stefan Rouseau/PA via AP)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: (SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) The Liverpool Team Goes through the clinical passport checkpoint before the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on September 28, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Students from Glasgow University put signs in the windows of the student accommodation at Murano Street student village on September 28, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. The Scottish government clarified on Sunday that university students whose accommodation has been placed under covid-19 restrictions are still able to return home, provided they have a "reasonable excuse," such as a family emergency. Hundreds of university students across Scotland have recently tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
POOLE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Luke Jerram's 'In Memoriam' artwork installation on Sandbanks beach on September 27, 2020 in Poole, England. The installation is a memorial for the public to visit and remember all those who have died from the COVID-19 pandemic. The artwork is also a tribute to all the healthcare workers and volunteers who have been risking their lives during the crisis. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
POOLE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Luke Jerram's 'In Memoriam' artwork installation on Sandbanks beach on September 27, 2020 in Poole, England. The installation is a memorial for the public to visit and remember all those who have died from the COVID-19 pandemic. The artwork is also a tribute to all the healthcare workers and volunteers who have been risking their lives during the crisis. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Jeff Hendrick of Newcastle United arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 27, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
A Coronavirus testing centre in Dalston, east London. There were a further 6,042 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK as of 9am on Saturday, taking the overall number to 429,277. A further 34 deaths were recorded. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Riot police face protesters who took part in a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions, in London, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past a sign for Cardiff Market in Cardiff, south Wales on September 27, 2020, during preparations for the reinstatement of a lock-down, ahead of a 6pm deadline, as new restrictions are introduced to combat the spread of the coronavirus covid-19. - Cardiff will become the first UK capital to go into local lockdown since a national shutdown earlier this year. The new restrictions in Wales, which bar people from entering or leaving areas unless for work, education or another valid reason, will also apply in second city Swansea, from 6pm (1700 GMT) Sunday, and in the town of Llanelli from Saturday. (Photo by Geoff Caddick / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - SEPTEMBER 27: A woman walks down Caroline Street, an area typically busy with people on a Saturday night, on September 27, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. Pubs, bars and restaurants are subject to a 10pm curfew and a local lockdown will come into force for Cardiff and Swansea from 6pm on Sunday. The local lockdown restrictions will be the same as those already affecting people living in Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly, which are already in lockdown. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
A protester (R) gestures to a member of the media (L) as he complains about the wearing of a mask, in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, during a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A student walks past a sign at Murano Street Student Village in Glasgow, where Glasgow University students are being tested at a pop up test centre, Scotland, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Cities around the U.K. are imposing new coronavirus restrictions as they race to slow the spread of COVID-19, and London could be next. University students in Scotland were asked not to go to bars and restaurants this weekend. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)
People take part in a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions, in London, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)
People leave bars and restaturants at closing time in Soho, London, the day after pubs and restaurants were subject to a 10pm curfew to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
People leave bars and restaturants at closing time in Soho, London, the day after pubs and restaurants were subject to a 10pm curfew to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Campaigners outside the Department of Health and Social Care office in London protesting over Serco's handling of the test, track and trace system. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Commuters in a tube station at 08:05 in central London, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: A sign limiting three items per customer is displayed in a supermarket on September 25, 2020 in Manchester, England. Tesco and Morrisons supermarkets are the first to initiate rations on essential items amid fears of panic buying with the prospect of a second Covid-19 full lockdown. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A protester takes part in a demonstration outside the Department of Health and Social Care office in London, over the private company Serco's handling of the British government's coronavirus test, track and trace system, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. The protesters were on Friday calling for the test, track and trace system to be carried out by local public health teams who work closely with Britain's National Health Service. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A piece of artwork by artist Luke Jerram called 'In Memoriam', is installed on Sandbanks beach as part of the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival 2020. Created from over 100 bedsheets, and arranged in the form of a medicial red cross, the sea of flags offers a place for the public to visit to remember those lost during the coronavirus pandemic and pay tribute to the NHS staff and volunteers. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: A general view of Carnaby Street in Soho, in central London on September 24, 2020, on the first day of the new earlier closing times for pubs and bars in England and Wales, introduced to combat the spread of the coronavirus. - Britain has tightened restrictions to stem a surge of coronavirus cases, ordering pubs to close early and advising people to go back to working from home to prevent a second national lockdown. (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A student from the University of Glasgow administers a self test for Covid-19 at a pop-up testing centre at the Murano Street Student Village complex in Glasgow, Scotland on September 24, 2020, as more than 120 students test positive for the novel coronavirus Covid-19. - An outbreak of Covid-19 has led to 124 students testing positive at Glasgow University, with the university sayig that 600 people were self-isolating. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A couple stop on the comedy floor in front of Blackpool Tower during the illuminations. All pubs, bars, restaurants in England must have a 10pm closing time from Thursday, to help curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
A shopper wears a mask as she exits a shop in Windsor, England, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appealed Tuesday for resolve and a "spirit of togetherness" through the winter as he unveiled new restrictions on everyday life to suppress a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Commuters disembark a London Underground train, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Shoppers in the shadow of Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appealed Tuesday for resolve and a "spirit of togetherness" through the winter as he unveiled new restrictions on everyday life to suppress a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
People dine at a restaurant in London, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, after Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A man sits in an empty cafe in London, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, after Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
The changing face of the high street. Noticeon on a billboard encouraging customers, while a person, wearing a face covering, browses inside a shop in Glasgow city centre, some six months on from the evening of March 23 when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced nationwide restrictions.
Customers at the Westminster Arms pub in London watch Prime Minister Boris Johnson address the nation regarding new coronavirus restrictions, including office staff working from home, the wider use of face masks and a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.
Commuters at Waterloo station in London, Wednesday Sept. 23, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appealed Tuesday for resolve and a “spirit of togetherness” through the winter as he unveiled new restrictions on everyday life to suppress a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
A man wears a face mask in Leicester Square, as people walk past, in London, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced that pubs and restaurants closing at 10pm, due to the spike of cases of coronavirus across the United Kingdom. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
A woman passes a rainbow painted on the pavement outside Waterloo Station, in central London, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Police officers patrol Old Compton Street in Soho, London, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from Thursday pubs and restaurants will be subject to a 10pm curfew to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
A staff member looks at a wall of faces of descendants related to the pilgrims of the Mayflower, which is part of the Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy exhibition, during a press preview for the UK's largest ever commemorative exhibition on the Mayflower, with works on loan from both Smithsonian and Peabody institutes in America, at The Box museum in Plymouth, Devon, England, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. The museum, which opens to the public on September 29, is the largest multi-disciplinary arts and heritage museum space opening anywhere in the UK in 2020. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)
A staff member of a toy store wears a face mask as she invites customers to enter the store, in London, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has slammed the brakes on the country's return to offices, saying people should work from home if possible to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Johnson on Tuesday announced a package of new restrictions, including a requirement for pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England to close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Visitors look around the exhibits at The Box on September 22, 2020 in Plymouth, England. The Box Museum, a brand new multi-disciplinary arts and heritage space, will finally open on 29th September, four months later than planned due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks back into Downing Street after attending a cabinet meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. Johnson plans to announce new restrictions on social interactions Tuesday as the government tries to slow the spread of COVID-19 before it spirals out of control. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
People sit outside the White Lion pub in London, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has slammed the brakes on the country's return to offices, saying people should work from home if possible to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Johnson on Tuesday announced a package of new restrictions, including a requirement for pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England to close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Britain's Labour leader Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech, during the party's online conference from the Danum Gallery, Library and Museum in Doncaster, England, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. Starmer will address party members in his first party conference since becoming leader in the wake of its worst defeat in a general election since 1935. (Stefan Rousseau/Pool Photo via AP)
PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Visitor looks at Kehinde Wiley's Narrenshschiff 'Ship of Fools' exhibit at The Box on September 22, 2020 in Plymouth, England. The Box Museum, a brand new multi-disciplinary arts and heritage space, will finally open on 29th September, four months later than planned due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
A member of the public walks passed coronavirus related signs at the City of Glasgow College in Glasgow . (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings arrives at Downing Street on September 21, 2020 in London, England. On Sunday, the country reported 3,899 new Covid-19 cases and 18 additional deaths. The government has suggested new nationwide restrictions would be required to curb a "second wave" of the virus. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
People out in Manchester city centre. The latest Public Health England data shows that 672 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the city in the seven days to September 17. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
People out in Manchester city centre. The latest Public Health England data shows that 672 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the city in the seven days to September 17. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
The government's chief medical officer Chris Whitty, left, and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance arrive in Downing Street, London, Monday Sept. 21, 2020. Britain’s top medical advisers have painted a grim picture of exponential growth in illness and death if nothing is done to control the second wave of coronavirus infections, laying the groundwork for the government to announce new restrictions later this week. (Yui Mok /PA via AP)
People dine out in London, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. Britain's top medical advisers have painted a grim picture of exponential growth in illness and death if nothing is done to control the second wave of coronavirus infections, laying the groundwork for the government to announce new restrictions later this week. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
People react to being photographed as they sit outside on a street closed to traffic to try to reduce the spread of coronavirus so bars and restaurants can continue to stay open, in the Soho area of central London, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Fresh nationwide lockdown restrictions in England appear to be on the cards soon as the British government targeted more areas Friday in an attempt to suppress a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
People sit outside on a street closed to traffic to try to reduce the spread of coronavirus so bars, cafes and restaurants can continue to stay open, in the Soho area of central London, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Fresh nationwide lockdown restrictions in England appear to be on the cards soon as the British government targeted more areas Friday in an attempt to suppress a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: A groundsman disinfectsthe goal posts ahead of kick off during a Scottish Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Hamilton Academical at The BBSP Stadium, Rugby Park on September 19, 2020, in Kilmarnock, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)
A general view of Norwich City fans in the stands where up to 1000 spectators are expected to attend the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)
NORWICH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Norwich City Stadium - Norwich Fans during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Preston North End at Carrow Road on September 19, 2020 in Norwich, England. (Photo by David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images )
A performer on stilts interacts with a member of the public during the annual Bermondsey Street Festival in London, England, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Hicks)
Police officers wearing face masks stand next to a "Resist and Act for Freedom" protest against a mandatory coronavirus vaccine, wearing masks, social distancing and a second lockdown, in Trafalgar Square, London, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 19: Members of StandUpX community who are anti-vaccine and are against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) measures, gathering at Trafalgar Square to stage for a protest, face off with police officers, in London, United Kingdom on September 19, 2020. (Photo by Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Police talk to demonstrators during an anti-vax protest in London's Trafalgar Square.
Employees wearing face masks or coverings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pose with artwork entitled "Show me the Monet" by the artist Banksy, during a photocall at Sotheby's auction house in London, on September 18, 2020, ahead of the forthcoming 'Modernites/Contemporary' evening auction set to take place in October. - The artwork is set expected to realise GBP 3-5 million pounds (EUR 3.2 to 5.5 million / USD 3.8 to 6.5 million) during Sotheby's Live Stream auction, which is set to take place on October 21. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
People eat lunch at tables and benches placed in the roadway adjacent to a suspended parking bay in Golden Square, Soho, London (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Covid-19 safety measures in place backstage ahead of the Bora Aksu show during LFW September 2020 at The Waldorf London on September 18, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/BFC/Getty Images)
Students and staff queue up outside a mobile coronavirus testing unit for asymptomatic staff and students set up in a car park at the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England, Friday Sept. 18, 2020. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Friday that the country has to “come together” over the coming weeks to get on top of the spike, that he noted is leading to a doubling in the number of people being hospitalized with the virus every seven to eight days. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)
A student help point is set up behind a screen at UCL (University College London) in London, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. In the UK, most universities do not begin their fall terms until late September or early October, and are readying big changes. At University College London, only a quarter of the buildings will be occupied at one time. Teaching spaces will incorporate social distancing and everyone must wear face-masks. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Kitty Ritchie has her QR code scanned on entry as she demonstrates how to take a coronavirus test at a new walk-through testing centre which will open today at Glasgow Caledonian UniversityÕs ARC sports centre, in central Glasgow. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
Student Emily Gittings, 19, has her temperature taken before heading into a mobile coronavirus testing unit for asymptomatic staff and students set up in a car park at the University of Portsmouth. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
A performance during the press preview of One Night Records, the UK's first socially-distanced immersive live music venue event at London Bridge, in London.
A performance during the press preview of One Night Records, the UK's first socially-distanced immersive live music venue event at London Bridge, in London.
SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: People queue for a test at a walk in Covid-19 testing facility on September 17, 2020 in Southend on Sea, England. The Department Of Health has appealed to Britain's biomedical sector for 400 further laboratory technicians as the nation's return to school increases demand for Covid-19 tests. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
A man wearing a face covering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, waks past a sign outside a novel coronavirus walk-in testing centre in East Ham in east London, on September 17, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday he could close pubs earlier to "stop the second hump" of coronavirus cases, comparing the country's trajectory of resurgent transmission to a camel's profile. But the prime minister has faced stinging criticism this week over the failure to achieve the "world-beating" testing and tracing system he promised by the summer. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Musicians perform a staged funeral for the "death" of live music, during a socially-distanced photocall performance for One Night Records' forthcoming 'Lockdown Town' production, on the banks of the River Thames in London on September 16, 2020. - One Night Records' is set to open an immersive live music experience called 'Lockdown Town', near London Bridge in London on October 2, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Musicians perform a staged funeral for the "death" of live music, during a socially-distanced photocall performance for One Night Records' forthcoming 'Lockdown Town' production, on the banks of the River Thames in London on September 16, 2020. - One Night Records' is set to open an immersive live music experience called 'Lockdown Town', near London Bridge in London on October 2, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
In this handout photo provided by UK Parliament, Shadow First Secretary Angela Rayner, speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons in London, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. U.K. lawmakers have criticized the government’s handling of the COVID-19 testing crisis for a second day as opposition leaders say Prime Minister Boris Johnson lacked a cohesive plan to tackle the virus as the country faces a second wave in the pandemic. (Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament via AP)
A view of sign directing people to a walk-in coronavirus testing centre on Marlborough Road in Southampton, England, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. The British government plans to ration coronavirus testing, giving priority to health workers and care home staff after widespread reports that people throughout the country were unable to schedule tests. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday will face questions about his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the House of Commons and before a key committee amid the outcry over the shortage of testing. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)
Ross Pilkington, a Technician in the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering at the University of Bolton, sits in a communal workspace with socially distanced seating and perspex screens on tables to help to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, before students return to campus next week, in Bolton, northern England on September 16, 2020. - The University of Bolton has introduced numerous Covid-safety measures across its campus including: airport-style temperature scanners at the entrance to buildings, socially distanced seating in study area and classrooms, perspex screens and visors for lecturers, a bicycle loan scheme for students, one-way routes throughout campus buildings and additional online resources for student learning. Hundreds of thousands of students across the UK are due to begin a new academic year at universities in the coming weeks. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Neil Berry, a Facilities Manager at the University of Bolton, inspects a communal workspace with socially distanced seating and perspex screens on tables to help to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, before students return to campus next week, in Bolton, northern England on September 16, 2020. - The University of Bolton has introduced numerous Covid-safety measures across its campus including: airport-style temperature scanners at the entrance to buildings, socially distanced seating in study area and classrooms, perspex screens and visors for lecturers, a bicycle loan scheme for students, one-way routes throughout campus buildings and additional online resources for student learning. Hundreds of thousands of students across the UK are due to begin a new academic year at universities in the coming weeks. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Fire and Light Choreographer Penella Bee from Bee-Enchanted practices her routine on Seaburn beach in Sunderland early this morning. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
Fire and Light Choreographer Penella Bee from Bee-Enchanted practices her routine on Seaburn beach in Sunderland early this morning. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
Hertfordshire Police officers arrest an environmental activist from HS2 Rebellion who had been locked to another activist in the road using a lock-on arm tube to block a gate providing access to a site for the Chiltern Tunnel on the route of the HS2 high-speed rail link on 14 September 2020 in West Hyde, United Kingdom. Anti-HS2 activists blocked two gates to the same Southern Portal works site for the controversial £106bn rail line, one for over six hours and another for over twelve hours. (photo by Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images)
Hertfordshire Police officers arrest an environmental activist from HS2 Rebellion who had been locked to another activist in the road using a lock-on arm tube to block a gate providing access to a site for the Chiltern Tunnel on the route of the HS2 high-speed rail link on 14 September 2020 in West Hyde, United Kingdom. Anti-HS2 activists blocked two gates to the same Southern Portal works site for the controversial £106bn rail line, one for over six hours and another for over twelve hours. (photo by Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images)
A commuter walks across London Bridge toward the City of London on September 15, 2020. - Britain's unemployment rate jumped above four percent in July on economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed today. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A man walks past a sign displaying Public Safety Advice about COVID-19 in Bolton town centre, northwest England on September 15, 2020. - The UK government recently imposed tougher coronavirus restrictions in northwest England, as it voiced fears about rising infection rates among younger people. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
NEWPORT, WALES, - SEPTEMBER 14: A general view of pedestrians walking through the city centre in view of the social distancing signs on on September 14, 2020 in Newport, United Kingdom. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
Members of the audience arrive to take their socially distanced seats in the auditorium for a performance by German baritone Christian Gerhaher and German pianist Gerold Huber at Wigmore Hall in London on September 13, 2020, in the first of a season of 100 concerts between now and Christmas to be attended by a limited, socially distanced audience to prevent spread of the covid-19 coronavirus. - Wigmore Hall becomes the first major UK music venue to welcome back live audiences for a full autumn season. The Hall will only have 120 people in this first audience (20% capacity), but it is a landmark moment for classical music in the UK as covid-19 restrictions continue. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13: Members of the public relaxing in Regents Park on September 13, 2020 in London, England. Concerned by rising cases of Covid-19, the British government will start enforcing a six-person limit on indoor and outdoor social gatherings in England, although numerous exemptions exist for workplaces, schools, religious functions, and organised sport. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - 13 SEPTEMBER 2020: A waitress wipes a table outside a restuarant on Northcote Road on September 13, 2020 in South West London, England. Concerned by rising cases of Covid-19, the British government will start enforcing a six-person limit on indoor and outdoor social gatherings in England, although numerous exemptions exist for workplaces, schools, religious functions, and organised sport. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: People are seen dancing to a busker in Leicester Square on September 12, 2020 in London, England. From Monday, September 14, groups of more than six will be banned from meeting under new coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: People are seen dancing in Soho on September 12, 2020 in London, England. From Monday, September 14, groups of more than six will be banned from meeting under new coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
A worker at a Covid-19 driving in testing centre at Temple Green Park and Ride in Leeds, West Yorkshire, where tougher lockdown measures may be introduced locally after a rise in coronavirus infections. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - SEPTEMBER 10: A man has his temperature checked before entering the Coyote Ugly bar on St. Mary's Street on September 10, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. In a tightening of lockdown rules intended to curb a rise in coronavirus cases the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has announced people in Wales must wear face mask in shops and other indoor public spaces from Monday. Indoor meetings of more than six from an extended household will be illegal from Monday. The rule will not apply to children under 11 and up to 30 people from different homes can still meet outside. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Young people outside the Blue Posts pub in Berwick Street, Soho, London. People in England will be banned from meeting in groups of more than six from Monday as ministers try to tackle the rising number of coronavirus cases across the UK. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon views the new Covid - 19 track and trace app on a phone at the Scottish Parliament on September 10, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scotland's new contact tracing app to help combat the spread of coronavirus has gone live, the downloaded is free for smart phones from Apple's App Store or Google Play. The Protect Scotland app will alert people when they have been in close contact with someone who later tests positive. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
PORTH, WALES - SEPTEMBER 10: A healthcare worker looks on at a temporary coronavirus testing centre at Oldway House on September 10, 2020 in Porth, Wales. A temporary walk-in testing centre has opened in Porth following a cluster of cases in the lower Rhondda area. There are fears that a local lockdown might be introduced should numbers continue to rise. The first local lockdown in Wales was brought in earlier this week in the county of Caerphilly. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
FACES PIXELATED BY PA PICTURE DESK A test sample being taken at a Covid-19 driving in testing centre at Temple Green Park and Ride in Leeds, West Yorkshire, where tougher lockdown measures may be introduced locally after a rise in coronavirus infections. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A notice on a fence at the Boats2020 show in Southampton following the cancellation of the event which was due to begin on Friday. Organisers were forced to cancel at the last minute due to growing concerns over the increase in the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Protesters with placards gather outside the Scottish Parliament entrance to demonstrate against a secondary lockdown, coronavirus face covering rules and the search for a virus on September 10, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The group, known as Saving Scotland, said it is "time to stand up together" and fight "for the freedom to choose" and listen to real scientific evidence in regard to the health of the Scottish people. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images)
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Addressing experts at a Covid-19 webinar hosted by the Royal Society of Medicine on Thursday, Mr Browne said: "Test and Trace has got issues, it's not there yet, it's not been there for a while, but we are trying to improve that.

"The challenge that we had before was having a central system where people came to us through the pillar three (antibody tests) route and we tried to contact people and follow them up."

He said there are concerns about the level of coverage, as he described having "one hand tied behind our back" when trying to follow up contacts.

"If we've got only 65% follow-up, which is what you're seeing in many areas of the country, that leaves an inordinate amount of people that are not followed up and able to carry on going around their communities," he said.

Mr Browne said one of the measures initiated in Leicester was individuals who could not be contacted through Test and Trace within the first 48 hours being passed across to the local authority.

He said it was particularly useful for households where an individual would be contacted and other members of the home would also be spoken to at the same time.

This approach has helped to follow up between 85% and 90% of individuals in Leicester, he claimed.

"The way the central system was set up was it takes everyone as an individual, which is ludicrous really," Mr Browne said.

He is pressing for the contact time to be shortened from 48 hours to 24 hours and for the system to be more localised.

Due to a surge in cases, Leicester became the first city in the UK to be placed in a local lockdown on June 29.

Figures released on Wednesday show the infection rate in the city has gone up from 56.7 to 68.9 per 100,000, with 244 new cases.

HEALTH Coronavirus Cases
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Mr Browne said he has "huge issues" with the Government's Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which he believes may be sending out the wrong message.

"This (the virus) has not gone away," he warned. "It's still here.

"So, when we start talking about easements and it's all going to be OK, we've got to stop that narrative.

"I have huge issues with things like Eat Out To Help Out ... when I'm walking up my road and seeing people queuing up, it's a concern.

"We've got to get a clear narrative of where we are, being in control and being cautious, and make sure we are not giving this virus the opportunity to pass on, because it will."

Meanwhile, an Imperial College London study has suggested that some 3.4 million people in England have been infected with Covid-19.

While the figure is higher than previous estimates, scientists said it is still "relatively small" as a proportion of the country's population and shows that a complete relaxation of lockdown would see a resurgence of the virus.

Dr Lilith Whittles, post-doctoral researcher in infectious disease epidemiology at Imperial College London, warned there is not enough immunity within the population to prevent a second wave of infection.

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