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UK coronavirus news: Testing shortage could lead to ‘lockdown by default’, says teaching union head

Rolling coverage of the latest UK coronavirus developments.Global coronavirus live blog 9.15am BST Good morning. Boris Johnson has got PMQs later and

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Rolling coverage of the latest UK coronavirus developments.

Good morning. Boris Johnson has got PMQs later and it will be surprising if he does not get asked about his promise to set up a “world-beating” test and trace system given the fact that the testing crisis seems to be escalating, at least according to the newspaper front pages. Just take a look …

METRO: Computer says No Tests #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/4oqg8o8FTY

MAIL: Why ARE they still failing the test? #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/Xwtu0fvEm2

GUARDIAN: Covid 19 testing could take weeks to resolve, admits ⁦@MattHancock#TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/5hOLSRCF3p

TELEGRAPH: Rule of six is damaging, Welby tells ⁦@BorisJohnson#TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/XI04EQWIyq

I: Testing crisis: rationing puts parents and teachers at back of queue #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/G4L75UwEix

INDEPENDENT: ⁦@MattHancock⁩ : Testing issues will go on for weeks #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/OjR1SimLGP

STAR: What a circus #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/ITWfwMFQcJ

If we are to control this virus, then we must have a world-beating system for testing potential victims, and for tracing their contacts. So that – all told – we are testing literally hundreds of thousands of people every day.

This will feel I think like lockdown by default – it will be more frustrating for parents because you can’t predict whether it is going to happen. And similarly from the headteacher’s point of view, if my year 4 teacher today shows symptoms, will he or she be in school tomorrow, will they be here for the next 14 days? As soon as you start to get that with six, seven, eight teachers, it becomes unsustainable to be able to run things.

I feel that everything we put in place – the one-way systems, the bubbles and all of that, we have done – but now we are being tripped up by the fact that, whether it’s a child or a member of staff, they simply can’t get a test and it’s leaving us in a position of me not know whether I can staff some of those lessons tomorrow, or indeed for the next two weeks. It’s infuriating.

Related: Coronavirus live news: Trump says Covid-19 will ‘go away’ because of ‘herd mentality’

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