About this resource
The NHS COVID-19 app is part of our large scale coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and contact tracing programme. The app has been launched to help notify users if they have come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
The app allows people to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals that have coronavirus.
The app does this while protecting the user’s anonymity. Nobody, including the government, will know who or where a particular user is.
This guidance sets out further information to help local Healthwatch support the campaign which aims to encourage as many people as possible to download and use the NHS COVID-19 app.
About the app
Why is the app important?
Every person who downloads the app will be helping in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
To use the app you need to be aged 16 years or older, live in England or Wales and own a compatible Apple or Android smartphone that has Bluetooth switched on.
- The app helps trace app users who have spent time near other app users, who they may not personally know, and who later test positive for coronavirus.
- The “Check-in” feature supports this functionality by anonymously alerting users who have been at the same venue at the same time.
- App contact tracing reduces the time it takes to alert those who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
- The app will help the NHS understand where and how quickly the virus is spreading, so it can respond.
Six key features
- Trace - Get alerted if you have been near another app user who has tested positive for COVID-19
- Alert - Lets you know the level of COVID-19 risk in your postcode district
- Check-in - Get alerted if you have visited a venue where you may have come into contact with COVID-19
- Symptoms - Check if you have COVID-19 symptoms and see if you need to order a free test
- Test - Helps you book a test and get your results
- Isolate - Keep track of your self-isolation countdown and access relevant advice
The app will not track you or your location. Instead your postcode district helps the app work out where the virus is spreading.
When you first download the app, you will be asked for your postcode district. Your postcode district is the first part of your postcode, which is common to about 8,000 other households.
The app will not hold any personal information. It cannot be used to access a user’s identity or any other information on a user’s phone. All users can delete the NHS COVID-19 app at any time and this will also delete all data stored on app.
NHS Test and Trace have produced an introduction to the NHS COVID-19 app which provides further information on why the app is important, how it works, how privacy is protected and other common questions.
A national marketing campaign will launch on the 24 September to encourage people to download and use the app. NHS Test and Trace have shared a number of resources to help you communicate the benefits of the app to your community.
Call to actions:
- Download the NHS COVID-19 App today, the simplest way to help protect those we love.
- Protect your loved ones. Get the App.
- Protect your loved ones. Know the risk of Coronavirus. Get the App now.
- More information, including frequently asked questions, can be found on covid19.nhs.uk
- The app is a key means of protecting individuals and communities - protecting the ones we love.
- Features of the app include risk alerts by postcode, a symptom checker and test booking.
- The app has a number of tools to protect people, entirely anonymously, including contact tracing, local area alerts and QR venue check-in.
- The more people that do the right thing - by using the app, and self-isolating when alerted - the more we keep each other safe and stop infection rates rising.
- Following trials and rigorous testing, the app has proven to be highly effective when used alongside traditional contact tracing to identify contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.
The app is based on Apple & Google’s privacy-preserving technology.
- Any data shared within the app is held on the user’s phone.
Social media messages
On social media, use the hash tags #NHSCOVID19app and #HaveYouDownloaded
Example social media messages
- I’ve downloaded the #NHSCOVID19app to help protect the ones I love #HaveYouDownloaded https://bit.ly/301ekhr
- Protect your loved ones. Protect people in [insert area]. Get the #NHSCOVID19app. #HaveYouDownloaded https://bit.ly/301ekhr
- Download the #NHSCOVID19app today, the simplest way to help protect those we love and our community #HaveYouDownloaded https://bit.ly/301ekhr
Social media graphics
A number of social media graphics have been provided to help support your social media activity.
Supporting the app in your local media
You can use the following quote if you are asked for a response by your local media
“The NHS contact tracing app has potentially big benefits to offer in the fight against COVID-19 providing there is sufficient uptake from the population. The process of thoroughly testing the app and addressing the concerns that people raised about privacy and data protection was important and should result in greater trust and more people using it. If you have a smartphone we would encourage you to download the app and play your part in combating the spread of the virus.”
Posters you can print
Download an A4 or A3 poster you can print and put up.
Help with advice and information
NHS Test and Trace has produced a number of FAQs and explainers to support people to use the NHS COVID-19 App.