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NHS COVID-19 app

Launched across England and Wales on 24 September 2020, the NHS COVID-19 app is the simplest way to help protect those we love.

Part of the NHS Test and Trace service, it alerts people at risk of Coronavirus, asking them to isolate before they potentially pass the virus on to others.

The more people that do the right thing - by using the app, and self-isolating when alerted - the more we keep each other safe and stop infection rates rising.

Available on both Android and Apple smartphones, the app has a number of tools to protect people, including contact tracing, checking into venues through an in-built QR code scanner, risk-alerts by postcode, a symptom checker and a facility for booking a test.

How it works

The app uses Bluetooth to identify phones nearby and can tell what distance other people are from you. If you come within two metres for 15 minutes or more of someone with the app who has tested positive, you will receive an alert notification to tell you that you must self-isolate.

The app also features a check-in system which will record venues you have visited over the last 21 days though the use of an in-built QR code scanner. If one of these venues is connected to positive cases of the virus, you will be alerted so that you can look out for symptoms of your own.

It is now mandatory for hospitality businesses and a range of other venuesto download and display a custom NHS QR code poster that individuals with the app should scan on entry. Businesses are liable for significant fines if they do not adhere to the requirements.

For visitors who do not have or use the app, the venues must also have an alternative system in place, such as a logbook, to collect test and trace information.


The NHS COVID-19 app is designed to the highest standards of data privacy and data security. It tracks the virus, not the individual.

The app does not collect any personal information which could directly identify you, it uses low-energy Bluetooth (not GPS) and only requires the first half of your postcode to help detect and manage local outbreaks.

The app cannot track your location, monitor whether you are self-isolating or access any other information on your phone. The app also protects your privacy and identity from other app users.

If you are advised to self-isolate, the people you have been in contact with will only be alerted if you agree for this to be the case. Your identity will remain anonymous.


Please download the app and don’t forget to check-in when you’re out and about. It’s the simplest way to help protect our community and the ones we love.

You can also find answers to commons questions on the NHS website and more information in the introductory video below.


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