COVID-19 tracing app launches in UK

An app that aims to track the spread of coronavirus is being launched in the UK for the first time.

This comes as the UK reaches the grim milestone of becoming the country with the most fatalities from COVID-19 in Europe after announcing over 32,000 deaths.

The app would first be tried among council and healthcare workers in the Isle of Wight, and if the trial is successful, it could be available nationwide within weeks.

The app aims to quickly trace recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for the virus.

It is part of the government’s strategy for coming out of lockdown, which aims to have widespread testing and contact tracing in place to monitor and reduce any future outbreaks.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said if the trial is successful, the app will be rolled out nationwide by the middle of May.

The new app – published on Apple and Google’s app stores – works by using a Bluetooth connection.

It records when two people who have the app are within a certain distance of each other for longer than a specified amount of time.

If one of those people later reports having symptoms, all the other app users they came into significant contact with over recent days will be alerted and, if judged necessary, told to self-isolate.


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