24 September 2020
- NHS COVID-19 app launches in England and Wales to help control COVID-19 transmission alongside national and local contact tracing
- Features of the app include contact tracing using Bluetooth, risk alerts based on postcode district, QR check-in at venues, symptom checker and test booking – with user privacy and data security at its heart
- Businesses are now required by law to display the official NHS QR code posters from today so people can check-in at different premises with the app
This test and trace app could make a significant difference with how the Covid-19 pandemic is controlled and we encourage all of our supporters to download it by visiting https://covid19.nhs.uk/.
The app is free for people across England and Wales and aims to help slow down the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.
It will be available to those aged 16 and over in multiple languages. It forms a central part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England and the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme - identifying contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Some of the UK's major mobile network operators, including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, Sky and Virgin, have confirmed that all in-app activity will not come out of customers’ data allowance.
The contact tracing element of the app works by using low-energy Bluetooth to log the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for COVID-19 – even if you don’t know each other.
The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case. It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a free test if needed and get your test results.
The app has been designed with user privacy in mind, so it tracks the virus not people, and uses the latest in data security technology to protect privacy. The system generates a random ID for an individual’s device, which can be exchanged between devices via Bluetooth (not GPS). These unique random IDs regenerate frequently to add an extra layer of security and preserve anonymity.
The app does not hold personal information such as your name, address or date of birth, and only requires the first half of your postcode to ensure local outbreaks can be managed. No personal data is shared with the government or the NHS.
Protect your loved ones and get the app - for more information on the NHS COVID-19 application, visit https://covid19.nhs.uk/