England’s COVID-19 tracing app with Apple and Google API launching September 24
The UK government has confirmed that its long-awaited COVID-19 contact-tracing app for England and Wales will be available on September 24, four months later than initially promised.
According to the government, the app will let people scan QR codes to register visits to hospitality venues across the country, which then saves information that can be used to help contact tracers in the event of an outbreak.
Businesses such as restaurants, bars and retail outlets are being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have the app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.
Described as “a defining moment” in the fight against COVID-19, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC today that “We need to use every tool at our disposal to control the spread of the virus including cutting-edge technology,” he said. “The launch of the app later this month across England and Wales is a defining moment and will aid our ability to contain the virus at a critical time.”
The UK was heavily criticized in April for announcing plans to use its own centralized system to send user data to a server over the internet, where it would be automatically analysed to determine if a user has been in close proximity with somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19.
England and Wales will join the long list of countries around the world using the Apple and Google technology in their contact-tracing apps, which use Bluetooth to anonymously identify if a user was close to another person who tested positive for COVID-19.