More than half of Isle of Wight residents download contact tracing app

More than 70,000 people now have the software on their phones.

The NHS coronavirus contact tracing app
The NHS coronavirus contact tracing app

More than half of the residents of the Isle of Wight have downloaded the Covid-19 contact tracing app being trialled on the island, it has been revealed.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street briefing on Thursday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said more than 70,000 people had downloaded the software.

He said: “There are now over half the residents of the Isle of Wight, where this is being tested out, who have downloaded the tracking app for the first time, or, in total, rather the actual number is 72,300.”

The NHSX app is part of the Government’s test, track and trace strategy, and is central to its efforts in slowing the spread of coronavirus.

The technology is being trialled on the Isle of Wight ahead of a national rollout expected around mid-May.

Earlier this month, Mr Shapps said that around 50% to 60% of people will need to use the software for it to be effective.

Mr Shapps also said visitors to the UK would be asked to download the app.

He added: “One of the things we will be asking people to do at the border when they come in is to download the app.

“And provide us with contact details, so that we know where people are.”

The app uses Bluetooth to detect when a person’s phone has been near another owned by someone reporting symptoms of Covid-19, sending a notification to the user and offering them advice on what to do to prevent spreading the disease.

The Government has also said the app can be used to order a Covid-19 swab test if you have symptoms of the virus.

It is available on Apple IOS version 11 and higher and Android version 8 and higher.

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