The NHS COVID-19 app is part of the NHS large scale coronavirus testing and contact tracing programme. 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.
The app allows people to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals that may have coronavirus. Our own hospital sites will be displaying QR codes from Friday so visitors and contractors can check in. Many venues are now required in law to display the QR code. These new QR codes only work with the new NHS COVID-19 app.
The app will help the NHS understand if the virus is spreading in a particular area, and so local authorities can respond quickly to stop it spreading further and save lives. The app does this while protecting a user’s anonymity.
Nobody, including the government, will know who or where a particular user is. The app has been launched today and is free to download to your smartphone device.
More information about the app and links to the sites to download it are available at https://www.covid19.nhs.uk/
Dr Shahedal Bari, Medical Director, UHMBT, said “Its really important that as many people as possible download the NHS Test and Trace App and use it, and that businesses display the signage as well to enable it to be fully helpful. It will be really important in ensuring that the NHS Test and Trace service are able to protect others in society by tracing contacts.
“We will be supporting this by displaying the QR codes and we urge others across our community to do so.”
Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “I’m strongly encouraging people to download the app. The more people who use it the more powerful it becomes in helping us stop the spread of this virus. I know it has been a long time coming and people may be sceptical, but the trials of the system elsewhere in the country have gone well and it’s clear this is an important weapon in our fight against COVID-19. I want to stress that the app cannot be used to identify you, track you, check if you are self-isolating or by law enforcement, but it can make a significant difference to our ability to keep the virus under control.
“Local businesses covered by the new regulations also need to move quickly to get their QR code posters downloaded and displayed and ensure that their manual systems for logging customer contact details are robust. The fines for not doing so are significant and working with partners we will be taking a proactive approach to ensuring businesses are complying with the law.”