Coronavirus: What Is The NHS Contact-Tracing App & How Do You Get It?
5 May 2020, 11:36
The new NHS track and trace app could help to lift the coronavirus lockdown measures.
The Government has been working to find ways to ease lockdown restrictions, in the safest way possible, and have published a coronavirus app trial - the NHS contact-tracing app.
It is going live today (May 5) and will see council staff and healthcare workers on the Isle of Wight as its first users, before rolling it out to the rest of the island on Thursday.
If successful, the rest of the UK will follow and be able to download the track and trace app in order to ease the spread of COVID-19.
But what is the app and how do you get it? Let’s take a look.
What is the NHS contact-tracing app?
The app is designed to let people know if they have been in close contact with someone who will later report symptoms of COVID-19.
Users who download the track and trace app have the option to record details of their symptoms when they start to feel unwell, which then alerts people who have been in close contact and are using the app.
The app keeps track of those who have been in close contact, through an anonymous ID, and inform them so that they know to self-isolate.
It knows how close you have been to others who are using the app and for how long your interaction was as it is picked up via Bluetooth.
If the NHS later finds out that the reported symptoms weren’t coronavirus, likewise the other users will be alerted of this so they can stop self-isolating.
How do I get the NHS contact-tracing app?
The NHS coronavirus track and trace app is currently being trialled in the Isle of Wight as it has a lower number of new infections and is covered by a single NHS trust.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged those living on the island to download the app when it becomes available to them as 'you are protecting your own health, you are protecting the health of your loved ones and the health of your community’.
If successful, it could be available around the UK in May.
Here’s how you download it if it is available to you:
1 - Download the app from the official Apple store or Google play store.
2- Once you’ve installed it, you need to register your phone, where you’ll be asked for the first part of your postcode so your local NHS response can be planned.
The app takes note of your phone’s make and model just so it can measure the distance between phones of people who have installed it.
It doesn’t ask for any personal information at this stage, such as your name or email.