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App it so we can zap it - The NHS COVID19 app

Published: 21 September 2020

Person holding phone showing QR code

Join the fight against Coronavirus

The NHS COVID19 App launches on Thursday 24 September and is the next step in the fight to stop the spread of Coronavirus in Surrey. With multiple functions and using the privacy preserving technology, the App is the fastest way to see if you are at risk from Coronavirus. The quicker you know, the faster you can protect yourself, your loved ones and others. The more Surrey residents that download the App, the longer we can continue to keep Surrey safe.

What does the NHS COVID19 App do?

  • Sends you an alert when you are at risk of infection
  • Alerts you when the levels of Coronavirus are rising in your area
  • The built in QR codes makes checking into bars and restaurants super easy, and you will be alerted if you've been near someone with the virus
  • It's the best way to avoid a local lockdown and keep the virus under control
  • It helps you check your symptoms and book a test
  • Explains how to isolate and helps you keep track of the number days if you have to
  • Remember it tracks the virus – not you
  • The 'check-in' feature provides users with a digital diary and can send you alerts if you have visited a venue where you may have come into contact with Coronavirus
  • The App remembers who you've met, including people you don't know, so you don't have to – that includes on the bus or in a shop queue.

Privacy and personal data

Some people have had concerns about what the App means for their data privacy. Here is some information on what it can and cannot be used for:-

  • App users are anonymous and the app cannot force them to self-isolate or identify them if they are not self-isolating.
  • The App cannot be used to track your location, for law enforcement, or to monitor self-isolation and social distancing.
  • However, it is hoped that users will follow App advice to self-isolate to protect their loved ones and stop the spread of the virus.

Further details on the app's privacy protection features can be found on the NHS webpage: Your data and privacy.

Some need to know information

To download and use the app you must:-

  • Be aged 16 or over
  • Live in England or Wales
  • Have a compatible iOS or Android smartphone with Bluetooth.

Checking in using QR codes

Certain types of businesses will have a legal requirement to display a QR poster, ready for customers to scan using the App from 24 September.

  • Tourism and Leisure – museums, galleries, gyms, leisure centres
  • Local authority buildings
  • Places of worship
  • Close contact services
  • Where an event is taking place in a physical location

Look out for an NHS QR code poster when you enter these places so you can easily check-in using the app.

Information for businesses and what they need to do can be found our COVID Help for Businesses web pages.

Love your local area

Lockdown was difficult for many people and we should all do what we can to prevent it. Let's not only protect ourselves and our loved ones but also where we live so we can stop the spread of Coronavirus in our local areas.

Depending on your mobile device, visit the App Store or Google Play Store and search NHS COVID19 App to download. For more information about the app, watch the NHS video or visit the NHS COVID19 App webpage.

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