Bishop of Portsmouth asks Government about contact tracing app trials on Isle of Wight

On 18th May 2020 Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb asked the Government “what steps they are taking to address privacy concerns about (1) the use of the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing application, and (2) the introduction of immunity certificates.” The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, asked a follow up question.

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, the Minister has reminded the House that tens of thousands of people on the Isle of Wight have downloaded and used the app. People of the island often feel—with, I regret, some justification—that they are considered last if at all. Now, despite the questions about privacy, effectiveness and rollout, they have been the first to step up and make a significant contribution to the nation’s common good. Will he undertake to look at how their service might be recognised?

Lord Bethell: My Lords, where the Isle of Wight leads, the country follows. We are enormously grateful to islanders for taking this pilot on board with energy and enthusiasm. I would like to consider ways of recognising that. One important lesson that we have learned from the island project is that the human touch of contact tracing is incredibly important and we will be implementing that at later stages.


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