NHS COVID-19 app launches today ( 25th September)
The NHS COVID-19 app is part of a large scale coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and contact tracing programme called the NHS Test and Trace service.
The app will be used, alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus.
It will help the NHS understand where and how quickly the virus is spreading, so it can respond quickly and effectively. The app helps the NHS track the virus, not individuals.
The app uses a customer's smartphone’s existing -“Exposure Logging” feature to work out if they have spent time near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
So what do people need to do?
We're encouraging people to download the NHS COVID-19 App from Thursday 24 September.
Once downloaded, people will be able to check-in when visiting venues such as restaurants, pubs, museums or places of worship, by scanning the QR code on a poster that will be visible at the entrance of the place you're visiting.
We will also have the posters at all relevant Wiltshire Council buildings including our hubs in Chippenham, Salisbury and Trowbridge, libraries and leisure centres.
Why should people download the app?
Every person who downloads the app will be helping in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
The app will help the NHS understand where and how quickly the virus is spreading, so it can respond quickly and effectively. The app helps the NHS track the virus.
If people download the app, are they being tracked?
The app will not track anyone or their location. Instead, a person’s postcode district helps the app work out where the virus is spreading. The postcode district is the first part of the postcode, which is common to about 8,000 other households. When the app is first download, people will be asked for your postcode district.
What happens if someone has a positive test result?
If someone tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), the app will tell that person to self-isolate. If they are under 18, they are advised to show the alert to a trusted adult. It is really important that people stay at home during this time. The app will help them keep track of their isolation period with a countdown timer showing how much longer they need to keep self-isolating. The app will also provide links to advice from the NHS on coronavirus and on what to do if feeling unwell.
Will the app work if a phone is locked?
The app will work while the phone is locked, as long as the phone is switched on and Bluetooth is enabled. An exception to this is if you someone has just restarted their phone, they must first unlock the phone to trigger the app to start working. This is only required on restart and they don’t need to open the app.
What does this mean for businesses?
Businesses need to check if they are required to create and display a QR code poster from 24 September.
This is a legal requirement so check online to see if your business should display a poster.
NHS QR code posters are a quick, simple and secure way for visitors to anonymously register that they've been to a particular venue. This allows customers or visitors to receive important public health messages if needed.
By supporting the official NHS QR code poster system, businesses will be protecting visitors and their business. They will help to slow the spread of the virus, reduce the impact of any second wave, and help normal life to resume more quickly.
What can you do?
•Spread the word about the app among your community, networks and contacts – including the business community
•Endorse the app on your social media platforms and encourage people to download it
•Mention the app at meetings you’re involved with