UK releases ‘NHS COVID-19’ contact tracing app with Apple’s exposure API
The UK’s NHS has released its long-awaited COVID-19 contact-tracing app for England and Wales, with the app now available to download from the App Store, four months later than initially promised.
The app uses the exposure notification API developed in joint partnership by Apple and Google, which allows public health agencies around the world to build cross-platform COVID-19 contact-tracing apps that alert users if they have been in close contact with somebody who tests positive for coronavirus.
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 to track the spread of the virus.
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 analyzed to determine if a user had been in close proximity with somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The app is available on devices running iOS 13.5 or later and can be downloaded here.