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NHS Test and Trace App: A Beginner’s Guide

• Written by Katie

The long-awaited NHS Test and Trace app was released on 24th September. Alongside the NHS, the government urging people across the UK to download the new app on their smartphones. This is part of the overall strategy to stop the spread of coronavirus. In today’s article, we’ll be answering some of the biggest questions about the new NHS Test and Trace app.

How do I download the NHS Test and Trace App?

The Test and Trace app is available for smartphones only. You cannot download it to a PC, tablet, or smart watch device. The NHS app is compatible with most (but not all) smartphones, including iPhones (which use a system called iOS) and Samsung and Google Pixel phones (which use a system called Android). Usually, if your smartphone is not an iPhone, it will use Android.

If you have an iPhone:

  • Find the App Store button (white ‘A’ on a blue background) and tap on it to open the App Store.
  • Tap on the Search button at the bottom.
  • Tap on the search bar at the top and type ‘NHS COVID-19’
  • You will see the NHS COVID-19 App at the top of the search results. Tap the ‘GET’ button.
  • If your phone prompts you to, enter your Apple ID password or use fingerprint/face verification.

If you have an Android phone:

  • Find the Google Play Store button (colourful triangle pointing right) and tap on it to open the Play Store.
  • Tap on the Search bar at the top and type ‘NHS COVID-19’
  • You will see the NHS COVID-19 App at the top of the search results. Tap the ‘Install’ button.

How does the NHS COVID-19 app work?

The new Test and Trace app has several important features to help minimise the spread of coronavirus. Primarily, its purpose is to alert you when you’ve been in contact with somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19. This process is called contact tracing. It uses Bluetooth technology to calculate whether you’ve been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus.

When someone tests positive for coronavirus, they can record this test result in the app. The NHS app will then send an alert to all other app users who have recently come into close contact with this person. It will ask these people to self-isolate for 14 days, in line with medical guidance.

Other useful features of the NHS Test and Trace app include:

  • Venue check-in: scan a QR code as you enter a venue (e.g. pub, restaurant, cinema). If you’ve visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus, you will receive an alert.
  • Postcode alert: provide the first half of your postcode and the app will show you the level of coronavirus risk in your area.
  • Symptoms: if you experience any symptoms, record them in the app. This will tell you whether you need to seek a test.
  • Self-isolation countdown: if you need to self-isolate, the app can help you keep track of the time.

Lifeline24: Supporting NHS Test and Trace

Here at Lifeline24, we are supporting the NHS COVID-19 app. The free app is a vital part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England, and the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service.

Protect your loved ones. Download the app today.

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