On 2nd July, UKVI and UKVCAS both updated their respective guidance information regarding appointments for biometrics.
UKVI is now looking at reusing certain applicants' fingerprints which were taken in previous biometric appointments for UK visa purposes - see here.
"If you’ve given your fingerprints before
If UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) can reuse the fingerprints you’ve already given, you’ll be emailed with instructions on how to send them an image of your face and your supporting documents.
This will mean you do not have to attend a UKVCAS or an SSC service point appointment to provide biometric information.
If you cannot send the information through the instructions given, you’ll be able to book an appointment."
According to the updated (2 July 2020) UKVCAS web site here, applicants who registered with UKVCAS after 27th March 2020 and on or before 30th April 2020 are to receive an email from UKVCAS before 4th July asking them to book a biometrics appointment. However certain applicants may not be invited to book a biometrics appointment as it may be possible for UKVI to reuse fingerprints taken for a previous UKVI application:
"Accelerating the application process
UK Visas and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) is working closely with UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) to tackle the significant demand for appointments in order to accelerate the application process.
UKVI is changing the way it processes applications in response to COVID-19 (see here). This new way of working involves reusing biometrics (fingerprints) that have been recorded in a previous application as part of the process to verify your identity. This will mean that certain customers will not need to attend a Service Point.
UKVI are currently working to identify those customers that are eligible to use this new approach.
If you are likely to be eligible for this new process, UKVI has asked us not to invite you for an appointment but to wait for an email which will give you further information and next steps.
We are continuing to invite customers by email that will definitely need to book an appointment at a Service Point. See ‘Taking a phased approach in date order’ above.
Further details will be available over the next few weeks. If you have any questions, please check the website for the latest news."
This seems a sensible way to help overcome the backlog caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.