MS urges residents to download Track and Trace app

Grant Boone
September 26, 2020

The last two regions of the United Kingdom now have an official coronavirus contacts tracing app, after the United Kingdom government pushed the button to launch the NHS COVID-19 app across England and Wales today. If someone falls ill, they can tell the app, and close contacts will be automatically sent a notification and given guidance. It is the action we all take now we have it that will help us to beat the virus.

The app, which is almost four months behind schedule, uses Bluetooth to alert users if they cross paths with someone who subsequently tests positive for COVID-19.

Many people have been anxious about the effect the Bluetooth technology in the app will have on their battery, but we are here to debunk this for you.

How much does the app cost and where do I download it?


The app also lists symptoms associated with coronavirus, to help users decide if they need a test. Users can use the app to book tests and find out how long they'll need to self-isolate when they come in close contact with a virus-positive individual.

For some of us, the app launched yesterday for Google and Apple users but isn't compatible on all phones - a fact that caused outrage online when many with older phones found themselves unable to download the app.

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Most contact tracking apps released worldwide in past six months have shown adoption rates between 10 per cent and 30 per cent, far lower than the NHS app target (announced in April) of 80 per cent of smartphone users. Turn your phone off overnight, minimise time spent on other apps and keep your phone on battery-saving mode. "And it helps by explaining what the rules are and the risk in your area for people easily and straightforwardly to be able to answer questions and consult on the rules so it has a whole series of features".

Businesses must promote checking-in to their venue on the app and encourage customers to use it, in addition to the pub's existing method of contact-taking.

As the software is voluntary, its success depends heavily on how many people choose to download and use it. Hospitality outlets can apply for their personalised QR code here.

For example, if someone tests positive with COVID-19 that has the same location as you, it will instantly tell you to self-isolate, even you're not with him on the same day or same time.

Internet law expert, professor Lilian Edwards - who was on an ethics advisory panel for the earlier, now defunct version of the England & Wales app - made this point to BBC Radio 4's World at One program yesterday. The app will then guide you to booking a test online.

The NHS COVID-19 app is easy to use.

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