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Will you be downloading the new tracing app today?

Coronavirus contact tracing app rolls out across England and Wales

A coronavirus contact tracing app is launching across England and Wales today in what the Health Secretary has called “an important step forward” in our fight against the “invisible killer”.

As the software is voluntary, its success will also depend heavily on how many people choose to download and use it.

An advertising campaign to promote the app will appear on television this evening with the strapline, “Protect your loved ones. Get the app”.

It comes at a critical time for the UK, with confirmed cases of Covid-19 on the rise daily.

“We are at a tipping point in our efforts to control the spread of this virus,” said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

“With infection rates rising we must use every tool at our disposal to prevent transmission, including the latest technology.

“We have worked extensively with tech companies, international partners, and privacy and medical experts – and learned from the trials – to develop an app that is secure, simple to use and will help keep our country safe.

“Today’s launch marks an important step forward in our fight against this invisible killer and I urge everyone who can to download and use the app to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

The app uses an Apple and Google-developed system, using Bluetooth to keep an anonymous log of people a user has been close to.

How the NHS contact-tracing app works

It does this by exchanging randomised keys while the Bluetooth signal strength measures proximity.

If someone falls ill, they can tell the app, which will then ping their keys to a central server and in turn send them off to all app users in search of a match.

Should the system determine a person as a close contact, they will be automatically sent a notification and issued with further guidance.

A QR code scanning feature is available, allowing people to check-in to venues they visit and easily share their contact details for human tracing efforts.

Some 160,000 businesses have already downloaded QR codes for use in their facilities.

Baroness Dido Harding, executive chair of England’s NHS Test and Trace Programme, said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to engage with England’s NHS Test and Trace service.

“The NHS Covid-19 app enables the majority of people with a smartphone to find out if they are at risk of having caught the virus and need to self isolate, order a test if they have symptoms, and access the right guidance and advice.

“The features of this app, including QR code check-in at venues, work alongside our traditional contact tracing service and will help us to reach more people quickly in their communities to prevent further spread of the virus.

“This is a welcome step in protecting those around us.”

The UK’s major network operators, including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, giffgaff, Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and Virgin Mobile have agreed to “zero-rate” data charges incurred by all in-app activity, meaning they will not be charged for using it.

What are your views?  Will you be downloading the app?

Will you be downloading the new tracing app today?

897 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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honestjohn
6 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
Looked into it but found it would not work on my phone. Maybe a little cynical but is it a genuine app that will help or is it just a ruse to get us with older phones to upgrade and boost the sale of new models - thus making rich men richer.
NDW57
14th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Will I download this? NO! Why you ask. Am I being socially irresponsible perhaps? Well, maybe there's something in that but the main reason is my distrust of government IT systems. No, I don't think that they're a way for Bill Gates, or anyone else to snoop on my activities - they're pretty unexciting anyway (I hope!). No, I distrust them because far too often they don't bloody well work properly. Much too frequently the government, or any large public body, go for the cheapest option and get exactly what they pay for. The NHS did that and look where that got them. This has been beautifully confirmed by the various glitches with the new app - false alarms, not working on some 'phones and so on. You could argue that not all of this is the fault of the developers. Well, maybe not. But I leave you with this thought. These highly paid developers should perhaps have thought more carefully about what mobiles people have. Not everyone can afford, nor wants, the latest models. Assuming that everyone is IT savvy or has the latest gear is at best foolhardy and at worst is downright lazy - especially for what they get paid !
viking
11th Oct 2020
0
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Guess it depends how many weeks some folk who are just about existing, would have to give up their gruel and volkesbrodt in order to be sucked into paying for the latest mobile phone.
parsnip54
9th Oct 2020
0
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Sorry Honestjohn but absolute rubbish. The government is trying to save lives, albeit somewhat chaotic, but that is the aim. It’s certainly not a ploy to get you to get a better phone. This is my point. Some of our older generation have the attitude of ‘Why should I and who’s going to pay.’
Get a grip for god sake. We are all in this wether we like it or not. Just listen and follow the guidelines and hopefully most of us will live through this.
honestjohn
8th Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Phone too old to load app. Not shelling out hundreds of pounds just to download this. If they want me to use it they must make it available on my current phone or pay for a newer one. Otherwise I'll just regard it as a cynical ploy to get us with older phones to upgrade - at great expense!
jeanmark
9th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Honestjohn, the government are not interested in the age of your phone. The problem you have with its age, is caused by Apple and Google as they set the parameters for the operating systems. It is worth noting that the app. runs in the background at all times and thus users a lot of the systems resources. Thus an up to date phone is essential.

It isn't unusual for software writers not to support older devices when newer versions of devices become available. (Try as I might, I can't get my old VHS collection to play on my blue-ray player at all). If your device cannot support the demands required of it, should software writers have to write a separate application for every version of phone that ever existed, even though they may not contain the correct hardware?

As much as I find it abhorrent to support this government, they can not be held responsible for this issue.
Tallguy01
5th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Having managed to mangle my original phone last week, I am now in possession of a new all singing and dancing I phone.

Loading the App was no problem, and so far I have not received any warning etc. I used the Q Code on Friday and Saturday, really easy to use, and need to search out a list to sign or a slip to complete.

It has unfortunately taken a little while to deveop, but for once (Government IT's pas track record is terrible) it appears to be working well.

Hopefully a massive reduction in personal risk, for a couple of minutes time to load.
Lakesaver
5th Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I have downloaded the app, and have scanned on the rare occasion I have ventured out, apart from collecting my shopping. It only occurred to me afterwards ann too late to revisit the store. I think it is much more relevant on public transport and bars and restaurants where people are congregated for longer.
Ladygolferblue
4th Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I do anything to help. I do hope everyone else does the same.
parsnip54
4th Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
As far as the government is concerned, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes having to make the decisions they have to make. I agree not all the decisions suit us all but then they never will. Back to the app I stand by what I have said. As far as affordability is concerned, perhaps a small change in your weekly budget would be all that’s necessary to help protect yourselves.
Anyway. Stay safe and well all.
viking
9th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Mobile phones your opinion, however always the other side and their viewpoint, see honest john 22hours ago. Never the twain shall meet !!!
parsnip54
4th Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
It puzzles me that a large number of you who had to shield from COVID and complained that your liberties were taken away. Now we have an app that could probably help you to move around more freely yet you still complain about big brother watching or my phone is to old. What do you guys want. Can’t we just accept that we all have to be flexible in our attitudes and try and defeat this awful virus by pulling together and embracing any advice and technology that could help save lives. Yes I’ve downloaded the app. Yes I will follow it’s advice. Yes I will abide by government advice. Is it that difficult?
viking
4th Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
You are lucky to be able to afford an all singing and dancing mobile phone, there are many who have to be content with an old "simple" mobile phone.
Exactly the same mind set that thinks everyone in the UK has a computer.
parsnip54
4th Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Who said I had an all singing all dancing phone. I have a basic smartphone that comes with my contract. It copes very well with the NHS Track and Trace app. Keeping myself and my family safe is worth every penny it costs. I feel a lot of it is “I’m not being told what I can and can’t do”
Don’t tell me it’s not, I’ve heard it many times already. For pity sake people, this is not a game. What’s more important, your life or your outdated opinions.
jeanmark
4th Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Parsnip54, I agree with Viking, many do not have an up to date phone, not all people want anything other than a device that is used as a phone, or able to afford to constantly update it! This government doesn't exactly have a good record of getting things right so maybe some peoples scepticism should be excused. I also understand that not everyone is a wiz with up to date technology so maybe a little slack is necessary when someone isn't able to embrace new technology.

I have been able to downloaded the app, I'm all for doing all I can to try and reduce the spread of this virus, I will also be self isolating should the need arise, as one of those that had to shield for 4 months, I understand enough to recognise my responsibility in protecting others if I expect them to protect me. As to government advice, that is a little more difficult as they do not always take the advice of their experts, but I do listen, assess and follow when the it is sound. I also accept that many do not, thus I will protect myself from them!
DerekJ9
4th Oct 2020
-1
Thanks for voting!
Not buying a new iphone,
Devonann
3rd Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
No. My phone is too old. Why develop an app that a lot of people can’t use?
Irene88
3rd Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
My smart phone is too old to cope with it. But any restaurants I've been too I've given my contact details.
sparrer
3rd Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
No but only because II already have it.
cehodgson
2nd Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Downloaded it straight away, hoping that track and trace will work.
geeljay
2nd Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I dont posess a smart phone, just a basic mobile phone, which does all I want . Though I do sign in Track and Trace my mobile number, at venues where these are asked for. I am of an era where mobile phones were not an extension of my fingers. This will do for me.
SueC62
2nd Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I downloaded it on day 1. The app seems quite good to me. It tells me I'm in a high risk area (which I know I am) and the only heart stopping moment I've had was when I got a momentary notification on my phone saying I'd been in contact with someone etc, etc. After some investigating, I now know that was something to do with Google and a 'test' rather than a real notification which will only come from the app and be visible within the app.
SSC
2nd Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I am reluctant to download the app because I understand that you are not advised when & where you were clocked as being in close contact with someone who has tested positive and for how long. On this basis you cannot decide if you are really at risk. I believe I know of everyone I am in close contact with for 15 minutes and if given this information I would know if I had a mask on, was behind a screen or wall from other people, etc which bluetooth does not know.
My husband has downloaded the app, so apart from when I'm out shopping alone in a mask & avoiding contact, we would be together at most times. IF he was notified then I could be extra careful, but would still be able to do a weekly shop without my movement being curtailed by a computer algorithm.
jeanmark
2nd Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
SSC, it's purpose is just to inform you that you have been in contact with someone and should self isolate for 14 days. Where that contact was is irrelevant, as it would not help you assess the risk. Other than the obvious contact, I understand it is defined as contact within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact. That would include shopping and your mask is predominately to protect others from you! Even if you know who you are in contact with, do you know everyone they have been in contact with and know that all those people are virus free?
SSC
3rd Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I disagree that when & where is irrelevant. According to BBC News link I just found https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54250736 it would have to be 3 x 5 minutes at 2 metres or closer (or longer further apart) to get the points to be notified, but clearly BlueTooth cannot know if you and people around you were wearing masks or had walls between you. Being retired we don't get out much, do observe rules and would know if time and date were supplied IF it is possible that we may have been around other people. I am pleased to see from this link that self isolation is not mandatory only advisory from app notifications, but more information would help. Whilst I trust my integrity to follow rules, I am not so sure about others!
jeanmark
3rd Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Information on the official Government site regarding the app and the algorithm used for risk assessment states:

"The app uses Bluetooth signal strength between devices to estimate the distance between two people. It estimates the distance for that encounter as one of three levels: Close, Medium and Far.

It is highly likely that encounters identified as “Close” are significantly within 2 metres and that those identified as “Far” are most likely over 4 metres away.

Those identified as “Medium” will include encounters that are close to 2 metres away; some slightly under and some slightly over.

The accuracy of the distance calculation depends on a number of external factors, such as where the phone is on the body and the surrounding environment, and so each individual distance measurement is inexact and there will be a large degree of overlap between these three levels".

I still believe when and where is irrelevant, but then I would self isolate for 14 days regardless of whether it is only advisory, I tend to be over cautious where viruses are concerned. Maybe having family working at the front line influences my decisions. But also my specialised field of nursing for many years was Infectious Diseases, Tropical Medicine and HIV. I'm also retired and the only friends I meet have, like me, been shielding and we tend to restrict contact with other people when possible. However, my husband does the shopping and he is even more wary than me about other peoples behaviour. We both felt it important to download the app as the more people who do, the more accurate the information gathered. We also have the Corvid-19 app for Prof Spector's research at King's College and that is also a good way of assessing how things are in the area I live.

At the end of the day, it is up to each individual to assess the risk, not only to themselves but to others they may meet in passing, based on their own knowledge and experience. I'm afraid I do not trust this government to give me advice on staying safe, particularly as they do not appear to follow the same advice.
buckland
2nd Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I have done this already!
padvile
2nd Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Because I am not one of those who spends hundreds of pounds on the very latest mobile phone, my phone is too old to be able to download the application.
GeraldineO3
2nd Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Mine too - it's an i-phone 6 and perfectly suits my needs for a smartphone. Ridiculous that Apple are denying a huge number of i-phone users the chance to use this app as recommended by both the government and NHS!
viking
30th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
It could be costly at the Dentist to have a bluetooth treated, as it could be decayed. Not sure if this treatment is available on the NHS.
olivep
30th Sep 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I will, but - and forgive my lack of IT knowledge - but is bluetooth safe if it is on all the time? I certainly wont download if there is a likelihood of hackers accessing my phone. Thank you.
SueB412
30th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
From my own point of view, I wouldn't download it because of the Bluetooth issue. I understand and agree with your concerns. For years we have been told to turn Bluetooth off, because of its ability to be hacked, and now we are told to leave it on, without addressing the issue of safety. I won't download this app, until I am assured of its safety. Having said all that, my phone is probably not suitable anyway!!!!
olivep
30th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Thank you Sue, I think I will wait before downloading and then I know I am safe from hackers that may be "lurking in the corners" - lol.
padvile
2nd Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I dont know about bluetooth, but if you have mobile or a computer you can be hacked
You really have to install a really good protection system. Some of them are free.
iestynlad
28th Sep 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I can't see the point as we are a shielding household and not in contact with anyone or anywhere. I don't want any more IT to do - I might as well get a paid job in IT spending so much time on it
RoyJ7
26th Sep 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
The parameters for the app require prolonged close proximity in order to trigger an event. That is only going to happen where social distancing is not adequately managed eg the tube, train and bus travel, queueing in the canteen or to pick the kids up at the school gate for instance. Were I doing these things I would download the app. However, with my current lifestyle there is no benefit either to me or to the wider community in my having it and switching it on and the cost to me would be that my phone would die every day before its overnight charge. Thanks, but no thanks
iestynlad
28th Sep 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree with this. My phone is a lifeline, so I can phone for emergency assistance as we are alone and OH has serious health issues. I don't want anything sapping or buggering up the phone and OH wouldn't understand it anyway as has dementia
FrancesB1
26th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I would but my phone is not compatible and it won’t download to my iPad!
jeanmark
27th Sep 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
FrancesB1, unless you take your iPad everywhere with you, it wouldn't be of use even if you had the app. It is your phone it tracks not you as an individual.
fre55die
26th Sep 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
For something so important why can it only be available on the latest phones and having Bluetooth on which is a battery drainer and we have all been advised to keep off to save the phone being hacked ????
Little3
28th Sep 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I only turn Bluetooth on when I'm going into a 'danger zone'
Len45
25th Sep 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I've got the App and think its a good thing, its ideal for Checking into Cafe's etc.and gives you the risk level at your location
Little3
28th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Thanks Len45 - I hadn't noticed the risk level indication
ponocio
25th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
not able to download as I do not have a smart phone, but I do think it is a good idea
Luv2Dance
25th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Just been reading comments with regard to phone compatibility and this App. I have an iPhone6s. It took 3 attempts but downloaded the App okay in the end.
Catton
25th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Done. Why would you not ? We are all in this together and we need all the help we can get.

B.J. is still too slow at moving forward and keeping the public up to date.
MrsPat
29th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree its only sensible
Billythequiche
25th Sep 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Did it immediately. Can think of no sensible reason not to. Will not trumpet views on responsibility or duty, it is a personal decision. I would ask that people give it due consideration before rejecting the idea.
viking
25th Sep 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Usual problems, went to a lot of trouble getting the semaphore flags out again [ twice in one week ] only to find that my communication system is not compatible with these latest gismos. Admiral Nelson said that this system was foolproof, so why has it gone wrong ? Personally I blame the French.
Doll
25th Sep 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I will download the App once I know it works properly. I hope my doubts about its use will be dispelled quickly.
JackieF19
24th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
kittysnowdon
24th Sep 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
not owning a smart phone is a bit of an issue for me..........
MaryH432
24th Sep 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Not compatible with iPhone6!!! We can’t all afford the latest model and I’m certainly not buying a new one at my age. What a shame, as I did try to download it as I think it will be very helpful... hey ho...
Bev1707
24th Sep 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Although my phone is not ancient it does not support the software. As an NHS worker I would love to support it but due to the government’s bad planning I won’t be able to download the app.
jeanmark
26th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Bev1707, although I hate to defend this government it isn't them that set the parameters for the operating systems, its Apple and Google that do that. Remember, this app runs in the background at all times and thus users a lot of the systems resources. It may affect other processes you are trying to complete or even stop working completely, if you are doing something particularly demanding with your phone.

If it was left to the government, no one would have smartphones as they do not like anything smarter than them!
Wilf
24th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
All downloaded and ready to go!
BarbaraL51
24th Sep 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Can’t download this app, as my smartphone is too old, so I can’t rather than won’t, use it.
Milliebobs
24th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I downloaded this morning .....if it helps great however I feel there will be a lot who won’t do it...
jazzykazzy
24th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I have an iPhone 6s Plus and it’s not compatible
With this app
VeraW7
24th Sep 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Don't go anywhere so no use downloading.
CaroleAH
24th Sep 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Have downloaded it. It might seem a bit "big brother" ish but surely worth it if this dreadful virus can be eradicated.
viking
24th Sep 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
More importaintly , will it show where the nearest toilets are that are open ???
Wilf
24th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
That my friend is a very funny comment!
Batwings
24th Sep 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I would have to buy a new smartphone to download it. I don't hardly mix with others at all, so will not be buying a new phone specifically to have the app.
blackbeard
24th Sep 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
I'm not going out much, pop over to my church, down the road for a Costa and maybe next door to Dunelm for a browse. I wear the obligatory face mask

At the young age of 71 in a few weeks, I think I'd be silly not to download the app, so I will download it

Besides in Costa one is required to use their track and trace QR code. At my church, I have made and introduced a track and trace QR code and insist on those with a suitable mobile phones use it
MrsPat
24th Sep 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Already done it and having a look.
suejy
24th Sep 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
You only have to have Bluetooth switched on, it works in the background and doesn’t use your data. It’s easy to download but more importantly it can save your life and the lives of your family
Valleyman
24th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I'm not sure if you have to be permanently connected to the internet to join this scheme? My mobile is a pay as you go, get your Facebook in Costa thing.
SueB412
30th Sep 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I believe you have to be permanently on Bluetooth.
Valleyman
30th Sep 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Rosedeb
24th Sep 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
Love the assumption that everyone has a smart phone,
Bald123
24th Sep 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes of course why wouldn't we all want to get rid of this terrible virus?

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