The new NHS COVID-19 app is now available to download. It is part of the large-scale NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and contact tracing programme and is used to notify users if they come into close contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus. ‘Close contact’ generally means you have been within 2 metres of someone for 15 minutes or more.
The six key features of the app are:
Trace: For contact tracing, the app detects and logs other nearby app users using random unique IDs. If any of those users later test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), you will receive an exposure alert with advice on what to do.
Alert: When you first register for the app you will be asked for the first half of your postcode. You can check the app every day to see whether where you live has become a high risk area for coronavirus. If it is, you will also receive a notification to let you know. This will help you make daily decisions to protect yourself and those around you.
Check in: The app allows you to record when you visit a venue by “checking-in” when you arrive, using the venue’s QR code. The app records the time you spend at the venue without recording any personal information. You will receive an alert, if you have recently visited a venue where you have come into contact with coronavirus.
Symptoms: If you feel unwell, you can use the app to check if your symptoms could be related to coronavirus (COVID-19). The app will give you a list of potential symptoms and you can then choose the ones that apply to you. It will then tell you if your symptoms suggest you have coronavirus.
Test: If you have coronavirus symptoms, the app will take you to a website where you can book a test to see if you have coronavirus or not.
Isolate: If you have been advised by the app to self-isolate, the app provides a countdown timer so that you can keep track of how long you need to self-isolate. When you reach the end of your self-isolation period, the app will send you a notification reminder with a link to the latest advice for you.
Using the app on campus
You will see QR code posters around campus, both in and outside of buildings. This includes catering venues, teaching buildings and classrooms, and the Library.
On entering each building, you can use the app to ‘check-in’ by scanning the QR code with your phone. Whilst not compulsory, in order to help us manage the risk of coronavirus in our community, we strongly encourage everyone to get into the habit of ‘checking-in’ every time you enter a building or venue with a QR code.
In some buildings there will be a QR code at the entrance and also inside individual rooms. However, you only need to ‘check in’ once per building – the additional QR codes are displayed to make it easier for you to do this.
You will need to ensure you have Bluetooth activated while on campus to register your ‘check-ins’ and receive alerts.
We will not have access to this data or be able to track anyone’s movements.
To download the app on both Android and iPhone devices, simply visit the Google Play Store or Apple App store from your phone and search for the NHS COVID-19 app.