The Government has this morning (Sunday) confirmed the NHSX coronavirus contact tracing app WILL go live on the Isle of Wight for a period of testing next week.
Owing to the isolated and controllable nature of the Island, it is going to be used as a testbed for the new mobile app before it is rolled out nationwide in 2-3 weeks’ time – should the test prove successful.
The news was rumoured several days ago, but it was Transport secretary Grant Shapps that confirmed the fact this morning. Further information is expected to be announced by the Health Secretary Matt Hancock tomorrow.
Bluetooth technology is the key to the app’s success and will register contact when individuals come within 6ft of one another for at least 15 minutes. If a user develops symptoms they can inform the NHS, triggering an alert to be sent to other users they have come into contact with.
Users will be asked to hand over some personal details such as a partial postcode, age and gender, but others won’t receive this information. Users will remain anonymous up to the point where they volunteer their own details, and there will be no database that allows the de-anonymisation of users.
Its understands the app will go live from mid-week onwards.
Around 50-60% of the country will be required to download the app for it to be effective. It is a vital part of the Government’s track and trace strategy to combat the coronavirus and prevent a second wave.