techUK Bulletin, 11 May: COVID-19 Taskforce

Today’s bulletin focuses on:

  • Stay alert, control the virus, save lives  
  • Help increase testing capacity in the UK
  • £2 billion package created for cycling and walking 

techUK's dedicated mailbox is open for any queries, questions and concerns you may have.

For more information and the latest guidance please visit techUK’s COVID-19 information hub which is updated daily. 

Stay alert, control the virus, save lives

Yesterday, in an address to the nation, the Prime Minister sketched out a roadmap out of lockdown and towards a re-opening of society and a restarting of the economy. 

At 15:30 today, he will address and take questions from Parliament, setting out more detail. A 50-page Government blueprint will be published and guidance for a safe return to work will be made available.

To mark this shift, the Government has issued new messaging – ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’ and will be proactively encouraging those who cannot work from home to return to work. The devolved nations have taken a different approach to messaging so expect further clarifications this week.


Help increase testing capacity in the UK

The Government wants to hear from companies who can manufacture and supply: 

  • Consumables and equipment for coronavirus testing, in particular test kits (such as nose and throat swabs, transport media and vials) and RNA extraction lab consumables (such as reagents, plates and pipette tips)
  • New or existing types of coronavirus tests for antigens or antibodies. These must meet the requirement set out by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

To find out more information, please click here.

£2 billion package created for cycling and walking

With more people being encouraged to use active modes of transport, the Transport Secretary will be working with local authorities to upgrade the cycling and pedestrian transport networks.

E-scooter trials will also be brought forward from next year to next month to help encourage more people off public transport and onto greener alternatives. 

In the long-term, the Government is keen to encourage greener travel. An extra £10 million - double the current funding amount - is being committed to the on street residential ChargePoint scheme which will allow local authorities to install up to 7,200 devices, making it more convenient to charge and own an electric vehicle. 

The Government is also working alongside the tech sector to see how technology could be used to help commuters stagger their journeys and advise on alternative modes of travel. Leading transport tech experts including Google, Zipabout and Trainline met last week at a roundtable chaired by the Transport Secretary, to explore how technology could help ease overcrowding and reduce the risk of a second spike in coronavirus cases.

How we are supporting our members

techUK continues to support our members and the wider tech industry through this period.

Please visit techUK’s COVID-19 Information Hub for the latest information and guidance. Listen to this month's techUK Podcast on healthtech during COVID-19.

techUK continues its work supporting Government. If you wish to make an offer of support you can do so by emailing our dedicated inbox.


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