1. What is the NHS Covid-19 contact-tracing app and how can I download it?  The Sun
  2. Matt Hancock confirms ‘test, track and trace’ trial will begin on Isle of Wight  Guardian News
  3. Coronavirus: Key workers to trial NHS tracing app  BBC …

LOCKDOWN restrictions could soon begin to ease – and human guinea pigs are supporting the fight to return to normality by testing out the new NHS coronavirus contact-tracing app.
Officials hope the pioneering tech will help the UK overcome the deadly virus – and experts believe high uptake will ensure fresh outbreaks are quickly snuffed out, preventing a second deadly peak.
A new tracing app is currently being trialled on the Isle of WightCredit: EPA
A trial of the voluntary app provisionally called NHS Covid-19 will start on the Isle of Wight from Tuesday, May 5, when NHS staff on the island will be able to use it before being rolled out to its citizens.
Experts say daily infections would still have to fall further ideally below 1,000 – before it could work effectively across Britain.
But England’s excess death rate is one of the worst in Europe, new figures show.
The government is hiring a team of 18,000 to trace the contacts of anyone infected with the virus.
What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing is a method used by scientists to slow the spread of infectious outbreaks.
During the pandemic, anyone sufferers might have been in prolonged contact with will be traced.
Those contacts may then be asked to self-isolate.
However, there’s some disagreement about what “close contact” might look like.
The Government recommends staying two metres away from others – but the World Health Organisation advises people to stay a metre apart.
The app will capture just distance, rather than time spent with a person and the setting.
Contact tracing is already being used in Hong Kong, Singapore and Germany.
A raft of measures will be introduced to control the virus, and social distancing is likely to remain a key methodCredit: Getty Images – Getty
How the new app works
The app will work by using Bluetooth to log when another users smartphone has been in close proximity – but will not use up much of your phone’s battery life.
If a person develops Covid-19 symptoms, they can report their symptoms to the app and immediately organise a test.
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The tech automatically sends out an anonymous alert to other users they may have been infected, urging them to self-isolate if necessary thus stopping further spread.
They will then have the ability to book a coronavirus test.
Experts estimate if 60 per cent of Brits used the app on their phone, then future outbreaks could be prevented.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in the press briefing on May 4 that the app does not hold any personal information, with privacy paramount and has been cleared for cyber security.
When can Brits download the app?
Currently, the app is being trialled, and it’s not yet available to members of the public.
A national roll-out is expected in mid-May, when it can be downloaded for free.
NHS bosses say Brits will be able to start using it towards the end of May.
Hancock said people living on the Isle of Wight have been written to with details on how to download the app to their phones.
Residents will test out the tech first.
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Could this be our way out of lockdown?
Contact tracing was important when it came to lifting restrictions in other countries, but only when combined with other measures.
South Korea did not go into lockdown thanks to an early strategy of extensive tracing, combined with mass testing.
If adopted widely enough, contact tracing might help ease UK restrictions.
The government first attempted contact tracing early on in the outbreak, before there were too many cases for it to be effective.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock reveals details about the new coronavirus contact-tracing app and Isle of Wight plan
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