Coronavirus: England's contact tracing app trial gets under way

2020-08-13 | Since 1 Month

A trial of the English coronavirus app is getting under way.

It will be limited to residents in the Isle of Wight, the London Borough of Newham and NHS volunteer responders to begin with.

The app will be available in Apple and Google's online stores, but users will need to enter a code to activate it.

The software will tell users to self-isolate for a fortnight if the app detects they have been close to someone else diagnosed with the virus.

Baroness Dido Harding - who heads up the wider Test and Trace initiative - had earlier voiced concern about implementing the automated contact-tracing feature because of fears many people who had been falsely flagged might be told to go into quarantine.

The app has several other functions, including:

  • An alert system that informs users of the coronavirus risk level close to their home, with the area defined by the first part of their postcode
  • A QR barcode scanner, so users can check in when they visit a venue and be told if others there later tested positive
  • A symptom-checking tool, which allows users to book a free test and get the results via the app
  • A countdown function that comes into effect if they are told to self-isolate, so users can keep track of how long to stay at home

It initially works in five languages, with plans to add more soon.


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