More than 600,000 people told to isolate by NHS Covid-19 app

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More than 600,000 people using the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales were sent self-isolation alerts in the week between 8 and 15 July.

Data shows 618,903 alerts were sent – a 17% rise from the previous week.

However some fully-vaccinated key workers will be exempt from self-isolating if they are pinged by the app as a close contact of a positive case.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told the BBC a “very narrow” list of jobs would be released today.

Self-isolation for all fully-vaccinated people pinged by the app as close contacts is due to be scrapped by 16 August, he added.

The app alert is advisory only and not enforceable by law, unlike a phone call from the Test and Trace team.


Latest government figures show there are a further 44,104 daily coronavirus cases in the UK, with 73 coronavirus-related deaths.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned cases could rise even more this week, as most legal restrictions have ended in England.

Alerts on the NHS Covid-19 app informs users if they have been in close contact with a positive coronavirus case. If an individual is pinged by the app, they are advised to self-isolate for up to 10 days.


Graph of alert figures


In England 607,486 alerts were sent to users in the period between 8 and 15 July, with a further 11,417 sent in Wales.

There were fewer app pings per case in England during this period, with 2.8 pings issued per every reported coronavirus case.

An average of 3.2 pings were sent per case reported in the last month.

App downloads

Downloads of the app continued to rise to 26,826,748 from 26,523,853 the previous week.

The BBC understands there is no way to know if the app has been deleted, but #DeleteTheApp has been trending on Twitter today.

A recent poll by YouGov suggested that one in ten users have deleted the app, having previously installed it.

Those aged between 18 and 24 were most likely to have deleted the app, after installing it, according to the data.


Graph of app check-ins





How does the NHS Covid app work?

People in England and Wales can download the NHS Covid app (Northern Ireland and Scotland have their own).

If you are using the app and spend enough time close to another person with it, you will receive a “ping” alert if they later test positive for Covid-19 and share the information with the app. The app uses the Bluetooth signal to determine whether your phone had recently been within 2m of theirs for at least 15 minutes.

If you are “pinged” you’re advised – but not legally obliged – to self-isolate for 10 days.

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