What does my zip area risk level mean?
You provide the first half of your zip code to the app so that the government can notify you when the level of risk changes in your area. Here’s what each level of risk means:
The high risk means your local authority is using additional measures, such as lockdowns, to reduce transmission.
If your area is at moderate risk, your local authority, or a nearby local authority, has higher levels of infection compared to other parts of the country. A local area plan may be in place to reduce infection, such as additional testing in care homes or additional mobile testing capacity.
Natural measures have been taken to control Coronavirus.
How will the app help me book the test?
You can report details of your symptoms on the app. If they suggest a possible Covid-19 infection, the app will ask you to book a test for you and all of your family members online. You will also have to self-isolate for 14 days.
If you book a test differently, you can still link the test result to the app if you receive a positive result.
To link your test result with the app, select Enter Test Result on the main screen of your app. Then enter the code you received from the test service via email or text.
What happened to the previous NHS app?
Building on Apple and Google’s privacy-focused program, the app marks the second attempt by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to develop a program to bolster contact tracing efforts.
The first version that was storing some information centrally was phased out after an unsuccessful trial on the Isle of Wight in May.
Technical issues included an audit that found it could detect only 1 in 25 contacts on Apple phones in some cases. Also, the application does not work on Android phones that are over four years old.
The root of these problems is due to the fact that the NHSX app was trying to circumvent privacy restrictions imposed on smartphones by Apple, which makes the iPhone, and Google, which makes Android.
These limitations mean that when iPhones go into idle mode, they will stop recording Bluetooth matches, rendering the technology ineffective.
Should I be concerned about my privacy?
Some people have reported concerns about patient privacy. Dr. Yves Alexandre de Montjoy, Head of the Computer Privacy Group at Imperial College London, warned that such applications could “collect sensitive information such as location data”.
We need to do everything we can to help slow the outbreak. Contact tracing requires the handling of highly sensitive data on a grand scale, and robust and proven technologies are in place to help us do so while protecting our fundamental right to privacy. We cannot afford not to use it.
Mr. Hancock has contested the privacy concerns, claiming that the data will only be preserved as long as it is needed and that “all data will be handled according to the highest ethical and security standards”.
The Minister of Health said: “If you get well, you can safely tell the new NHS app, and the app will then send an anonymous alert to other app users that you have been in close contact with.”
What if I live in Scotland or Northern Ireland?
In Scotland and Wales there are separate contact tracking apps that you can download and use. The NHS England app will not work in these countries so you will need to download different apps and switch if you already have the England app.
For people in Scotland, go to the App Store and search for ‘Protect Scotland’.
For people in Northern Ireland, go to the App Store and search for “StopCOVID NI”.
Both apps work the same way as the England app, which means you need to set them up first and turn on Bluetooth so they can keep running in the background.
If you already have a different country app installed, you can switch the area for tracking your contacts by opening the new app. Click “Allow” when asked if you want to switch to the current exposure notifications app.
What other issues have occurred so far with the app?
It turns out that those who tested positive for the virus in NHS hospitals and Public Health England (PHE) laboratories were unable to share their results using The official app for tracking contacts During the first 48 hours after its introduction on Thursday.
The tests conducted by the NHS and PHE account for one in three of those taken daily, and their exclusion meant that accidental contacts of a large proportion of doctors who tested positive for the virus did not receive automatic notifications requiring them to isolate.
The Ministry of Health has now fixed the problem.