Matt Hancock announces launch date of coronavirus app across England and Wales after trials prove 'highly effective'

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  • September 11, 2020
  • Comments Off on Matt Hancock announces launch date of coronavirus app across England and Wales after trials prove 'highly effective'

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The Health Secretary has announced a “defining moment” in the pandemic with the launch of the Covid-19 app across England and Wales from September 24.

The NHS Covid-19 app will be launched on September 24, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

Matt Hancock described the app’s launch as “a defining moment” and said it will help to contain the virus “at a critical time”.

Ahead of the roll-out businesses including pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas are being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new app can use their smartphones to check-in.

The department said ongoing trials in the London Borough of Newham, on the Isle of Wight and with NHS Volunteer Responders show the app is “highly effective when used alongside traditional contact tracing to identify contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus”.

Mr Hancock added: “We need to use every tool at our disposal to control the spread of the virus including cutting-edge technology.

“The launch of the app later this month across England and Wales is a defining moment and will aid our ability to contain the virus at a critical time.

“QR codes provide an easy and simple way to collect contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace system.

“Hospitality businesses can now download posters for their premises ahead of the launch of the NHS Covid-19 app. This will allow the public to seamlessly check in to venues using the app when it launches.

“It is vital we are using the NHS Test and Trace system to reach as many people as possible to prevent outbreaks and stop this virus in its tracks. This function will make it simple and easy so we can keep this virus under control.”

It comes after the Mayor of London criticised the Government for its “mind-boggling” decision not to disclose data from the London trial of the coronavirus test-and-trace app.

During a visit on a visit to Newham‘s only walk-in testing centre in East Ham, Mr Khan he was “frustrated” to be told the data could not be shared as it was “raw”. He said: “That is not a good enough reason, as far as I’m concerned. It’s crucial.”

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