COVID-19 smartphone app finally launches in England and Wales

LONDON (Reuters) – England and Wales launch a COVID-19 smartphone app on Thursday, allowing users to trace contacts, check the local level of risk and record visits to venues such as pubs, four months after the technology was promised to the public.

The NHS COVID-19 app comes as Britain braces for a second wave of infections, with daily cases numbers rising at rates not seen since the peak of the pandemic and a testing system unable to cope with demand in many areas.

The government had said a COVID-19 app would arrive in May, but early trials were dogged by problems, and developers abandoned home-grown technology in favour of Apple <AAPL.O> and Google’s <GOOGL.O> model in June.

As the delay lengthened, the government downplayed the importance of smartphones in fighting COVID-19, saying that rather than an app being central to the test and trace system, it was “the cherry on

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NHS Covid-19 app: England and Wales get smartphone contact tracing for over-16s

By Leo Kelion & Rory Cellan-Jones
Technology reporters

Related Topics
  • Coronavirus pandemic

NHS Covid-10 app

image captionUsers will be told to self-isolate if the app determines they are at high risk of being infected

People living in England and Wales are being urged to download the government’s contact-tracing app following its official release.

NHS Covid-19 instructs users to self-isolate for 14 days if it detects they were nearby someone who has the virus.

It also has a check-in scanner to alert owners if a venue they have visited is found to be an outbreak hotspot.

Anyone aged 16 and over is being asked to install the app on to their smartphone.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the app “helps us to find more people who are at risk of having the virus” that human contact tracers are unable to find.

“Everybody who downloads

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England and Wales get smartphone contact tracing for over-16s

Users will be told to self-isolate if the app determines they are at high risk of being infected
Users will be told to self-isolate if the app determines they are at high risk of being infected

People living in England and Wales are being urged to download the government’s official contact-tracing app following its official release.

NHS Covid-19 instructs users to self-isolate for 14 days if it detects they were nearby someone who has the virus.

It also has a check-in scanner to alert owners if a venue they have visited is found to be an outbreak hotspot.

Anyone over the age of 16 is being asked to install the app onto their smartphone.

That is a change from trials, which were limited to the over-18s.

The move reflects a desire by health chiefs for the software to be used by as many students in further education colleges and universities as possible.

The age limit is in line with the Protect Scotland contact-tracing app. And health chiefs behind

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COVID-19 Smartphone App Finally Launches in England and Wales | Technology News

LONDON (Reuters) – England and Wales launch a COVID-19 smartphone app on Thursday, allowing users to trace contacts, check the local level of risk and record visits to venues such as pubs, four months after the technology was promised to the public.

The NHS COVID-19 app comes as Britain braces for a second wave of infections, with daily cases numbers rising at rates not seen since the peak of the pandemic and a testing system unable to cope with demand in many areas.

The government had said a COVID-19 app would arrive in May, but early trials were dogged by problems, and developers abandoned home-grown technology in favour of Apple

and Google’s

model in June.

As the delay lengthened, the government downplayed the importance of smartphones in fighting COVID-19, saying that rather than an app being central to the test and trace system, it was “the cherry on the cake”.

Read More
Read More