The government today (24 September 2020) launched their latest Track and Trace app in response to the ever-growing tide of UK Coronavirus infections. With infection rates predicted to double every 7 days over the coming weeks, health chiefs are hoping that the widespread use of the new NHS app will help to reduce infection rates.
The app, which is available on android and apple mobile devices, can be downloaded to any smart phone and once downloaded will take the user to a brief screen to register onto the UK wide track and trace system. It can then alert registered users if they have come into contact with potentially infected people.
There is a button to press on the app if you, at some time in the future, test positive to COVID-19. This will then enable the app to alert others you have come into contact with in the last 14 days. The theory is that these people should then take steps to limit contact with others effectively the stemming the progress of the virus.
As well as registering your name and the first part of your postcode, (for instance if you lived in Christchurch, you would just enter your name and ‘BH23’) the app doesn’t request any other information and works in the background to ensure you’ve been a safe distance from anyone that is subsequently infected with Coronavirus.
Users check-in to participating venues by using the app to scan a special code (a QR code) which will be on display at the entrances to pubs, restaurants and shops. The system then recognises that you’ve been to that venue and stores the details for 21 days, so should anyone else who was also in the same venue at the same time as you, later test positive, you can be alerted by the app.
Other businesses are encouraged to participate too (BH Living offices already have our own QR code proudly on display) but the government is keen that bars and restaurants in particular embrace the scheme and have made it an offence for businesses in the hospitality sector not to display the special QR code.
To download the app, just go to the App Store or Google Play store and type in ‘NHS Covid-19’. The app should appear at the top of the list or you can find the link to download it by going to the special NHS COVID-19 website