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24 September 2020, 06:00 | Updated: 24 September 2020, 14:03
The NHS has launched a new Covid-19 app. But how does it work and how can I download it?
A new Covid-19 contact tracing app has been launched across England and Wales to ‘help protect our loves ones and help stop the spread of Coronavirus’.
The app, which is free, and available to download from today (24th September), notifies you if you have been in close contact with someone who has contracted coronavirus and also shows you the risk level in your local area.
Venues, such as pubs, restaurants, hospitals and libraries, are being asked to support the app by displaying QR code posters so that members of the public can check-in without having to fill out forms.
Visit the NHS site for the latest information and advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19).
• The app lets you know anonymously if you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus, so you can take the right action to protect the ones you love – stopping further spread of the virus.
• It shows you the risk level in your local area – based on the postcode district you enter when you download it. It gives you advice on what action to take, so you can know how best to protect the ones you love.
• There is a built-in QR code scanner to check in at venues. We all have to leave our contact details (name and phone number) at venues, particularly hospitality, so we can be contacted if there is an outbreak linked to that venue. You’ll start seeing official NHS QR code posters in local businesses, and the app is the quickest and easiest way to now check-in, without having to fill out forms or pass on your details.
• If you have symptoms, you can check these with the app to see if they might suggest you have coronavirus, based on the latest government guidance. The app will then guide you to booking a test online. If you receive a positive result, you can tell the app, and it will send an anonymous notification to any app user who you’ve come into recent close contact with.
• The app protects your privacy as it uses Apple and Google’s proven Bluetooth technology, designed so that nobody will know who or where you are. Any data shared with the app is only held on your phone, so if you decide to delete the app (which you can do at any time), all the data is deleted as well. The app cannot track your location – it doesn’t use GPS - check or monitor if you are self-isolating, or see personal information on your phone such as messages or contacts.
The app, which is free, is available to download in England and Wales via the App Store or Google Play, from Thursday 24 September.
For more information and guidelines, visit: https://covid19.nhs.uk/.