CHIEF medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty said the test and trace programme is “in the early stages of its development”.

He told today’s Downing Street briefing: “The new thing that has been brought in - and it is definitely, as you imply, in the early stages of its development, but it is definitely there, and definitely working, but it will work a lot better over time - is the new element of test and trace.”

Professor Whitty said the two-metre rule will continue for as long as the coronavirus pandemic exists.

He listed a series of measures at the Downing Street briefing, including hand washing and “good cough etiquette”.

He also recommended the use of face cloths and the two-metre rule.

He added: “Those are going to carry on really for as long as this epidemic continues.”