Test and trace needs to be better

Aberdeen is going into its third week of lockdown now. Nicola Sturgeon announced today that although cases have fallen here there are still too many to lift the restrictions. According to local papers the city council does not support the continued lockdown.

I feel some sympathy for the city council and my view is the continued lockdowns are a failure of our ability to manage the virus through other methods, in particular, a failure of testing and tracing. I am starting to feel anxious about the economy and people’s jobs and livelihoods. I personally would prefer to trade some level of privacy than to lose my freedom to move about and earn a living.

My contact in South Korea said that whenever someone tests positive in an area you live, the government sends you details of all the places that person has been and if you’ve crossed paths you’re advised to get tested and stay home. Here’s an example of what you get sent.


These are the movements of one confirmed case and all the places they visited and when. As far as I’m aware we have nothing like this at all in the UK.

In some regions, if you’re caught out without a mask and you test positive you have to pay a hefty fine. These strategies are far better than forcing everyone in the entire area to stay at home and shut down their businesses.

Businesses like shops and restaurants have QR codes customers must scan before they can enter. These record the customer’s address details which are sent to the government for contact tracing, if required.

Can we please look to South Korea and follow their model?

2 thoughts on “Test and trace needs to be better”

    1. Mostly they get the information by interviewing the person. But they also use credit card transactions, phone GPS, and CCTV. I guess people sometimes forget everything so these other things can help validate or add to whatever comes out of the interview.

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