Track and trace app: How to get the track and trace app

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Track and trace will define the next stage of the Government’s plan to combat COVID-19 over the coming days and weeks. Speaking in yesterday’s Government press conference, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said track and trace begins today, but the app may take a little longer.

How to get the track and trace app

Track and trace identifies which people have had coronavirus, and who has come into contact with them.

Tracers working for the NHS should be able to work backwards and prevent people from ultimately spreading the infection.

The Government’s manual track and trace launches today, but the all-important app is still in its trial phase.


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The Government-backed track and trace app entered trials on the Isle of Wight on May 5.

There, officials asked people to download and test the application before its eventual roll-out in the rest of the country.

They can find it either on the Google Play or Apple store to install on their phones.

The app requires people to input their postcode and then uses Bluetooth coupled with an anonymous ID to trace people’s contact.

People may only download the app if they are resident on the Isle of Wight, with no prospective release date for the rest of the UK.

Test and Trace chief Dido Harding has not pinned a timeline to the app’s eventual rollout elsewhere.

In the meantime, the country will have to rely on manual track and tracing efforts.

From today, people who come down with coronavirus symptoms will have to self-isolate for at least one week.

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Coronavirus symptoms include the following:

  • High temperature
  • New, continuous cough
  • Loss or change in sense of smell and taste

While many people have reported other symptoms such as vomiting, they often vary by person.

Once they detect symptoms, people can call for a coronavirus test on the NHS, and will receive a message from NHS Test and Trace if it comes back positive within 24 hours.

Test and Trace will supply instructions on how to share details of people they have been in contact with, which includes family, roommates, and those they have spent 15 minutes with during social distancing.

Tracers will then alert people within close contact of the positive test.

They will then have to log into the Test and Trace website to communicate with the team, or members will contact them via phone.

Those living around someone who has received a notification need not self-isolate, but should take “extra care”.

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