The new NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 App

The NHS COVID-19 app has launched nationally and is available to everyone aged 16 and over in England and Wales. The app will help the NHS understand where and how quickly the virus is spreading, so it can respond effectively. They want as many people as possible to download and use the app – every person who does will be helping in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).

The App has 6 key features that support you:


This feature is contact tracing. It allows the app to detect and log other nearby app users using random unique IDs. No personal data is shared between your phone and anyone else’s phone.
If any of those users later test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), you will receive an exposure alert with advice on what to do. If you are under 18, you are advised to show this alert to a trusted adult.


This feature is for area risk alerts. When you first register for the app you will be asked for the first half of your postcode. The app will tell you whether the area that you live in is a high risk area for coronavirus. If your area risk changes at any point, the app will notify you. This could help you make decisions to protect your loved ones.


This feature is a check-in function. The app allows you to record when you visit a venue by “checking-in” when you arrive, using an official NHS QR poster.
The app will provide you with a digital diary of places you have visited. This stays on your phone and you can delete it. It means that you can receive an alert with public health advice if you have been to venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus.


This feature is a coronavirus symptom checker. If you feel unwell, you can use the app to check if your symptoms could be related to coronavirus. The app will give you a list of potential symptoms and you can then choose the ones that apply to you.
If your symptoms could be coronavirus, you will be advised to self-isolate and book a test.


This feature will help you book a test. If you have coronavirus symptoms, the app will take you to a website where you can book a test to see if you have coronavirus or not. If you are under 18, you are advised to discuss with a trusted adult before booking a test.


This feature is an isolation ‘companion’. It counts down how many days you have left to isolate if you have been advised to do so. It also provides links to useful advice. It will tell you when you have reached the end of your isolation period.

If the app identifies a user has been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, the user will: 

  • receive an exposure alert with advice on what to do
  • be advised to self isolate
  • If a user who is 16-18 years old receives an alert, they should notify a trusted adult. When they are in an education setting, this trusted adult should be a member of staff who will then follow official guidelines.
  • Parents or carers should inform the relevant educational setting if their child tests positive for coronavirus. They should do this whether or not their child is an app user.

The app is available to download on the App Store and Google Play

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