Police are to be given the power to access the NHS Test and Trace database if they suspect that an individual should be self-isolating with suspected coronavirus, it has emerged.
The change means officers will be able to access the database directly rather than waiting for a request from councils and health agencies to do so – should they suspect somebody of breaching quarantine measures.
But the move has already led to fears by some leading scientists that it will put people off using Test and Trace and undermine public confidence in the confidentiality of the system.
A senior source told Health Service Journal the move came after Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, made an “incredibly forceful” intervention to ensure that data-sharing arrangements were clarified.
It is understood the office of Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, expressed “significant reservations” about the move, fearing that it would discourage people from being tested.
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