NHS Track and Trace phone app is now live – everything you need to know

The new NHS COVID-19 app, is now available to download for free in England and Wales and is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community.

How does the app work?

The contact tracing element of the app works by using low-energy Bluetooth to log the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for COVID-19 – even if you don’t know each other.

You also can use the app to check your symptoms and try to book a test. The built-in QR code scanner will allow users to check in at venues in case an outbreak is linked to them.

The app shows the risk level in any local area – based on the postcode district entered when it is downloaded.

NHS Covid-19 instructs users to self-isolate for 14 days if it detects they were nearby someone who has the virus.

Check-in using the app where you see the QR Code

If a business or venue is required to keep a customer log in one of these sectors or categories, then they must now display an NHS QR code poster at their venue. Business types include:
  • hospitality including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, beauticians, barbershops and tailors (including mobile businesses)
  • facilities provided by Local Authorities, including community centres, libraries and village halls

How to download the app

The NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app for England and Wales is available to download now for Android and iPhone. It’s free to download from Google Play and the App Store. The app is only available on smartphones, and cannot be used on a smartwatch or tablet.

The app works iOS 13.5 or later installed on your iPhone or Android 6.0 or later on an Android phone.

How can you create a QR code poster for your venue?

You can easily generate a QR code poster for your business or venue online, go to gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster and follow the steps. The poster will be sent to your email address.

You can then display the poster to get visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app.

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service.

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