Coronavirus UK updates: NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app launches in England and Wales

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Coronavirus UK updates: NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app launches in England and Wales
Coronavirus UK updates: NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app launches in England and Wales

A coronavirus contact tracing app has launched across England and Wales following months of delay and questions about its effectiveness.

The latest version of the app has been in testing among residents on the Isle of Wight and in the London borough of Newham since mid-August, after the first was marred by technical issues and eventually scrapped.

– Hancock urges people to download contact tracing app

Health secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast that the more people who download the new coronavirus app across England and Wales “the better”, adding it was good “for your community”.

He added: “The more people who download this app, the more effective it will be.”

Mr Hancock said the “vast majority” of people had the right software, adding that some may need to upgrade their phone’s operating system.

The app would tell people if they had been in close contact with somebody infected with Covid-19 and whether they needed to self-isolate, he said.

“Now, that self-isolation is voluntary, unlike at the moment, where it’s mandatory to self-isolate if you are told to by NHS Test and Trace.

“But if you need the support the financial support to self-isolate, then you can click through and declare that.”

Mr Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he had been asked several times what proportion of the population needs to use the app to make it effective. His answer, he said, was: “The more people get it, the safer we will all be.”

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