England and Wales launch a coronavirus smartphone app, allowing users to trace contacts, check the local level of risk and record visits to venues such as pubs, 4 months after the technology was promised to the public, The NHS coronavirus app comes as Britain braces for a 2nd wave of infections.
With daily cases numbers rising at rates not seen since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and a testing system unable to cope with demand in many areas, The government had said a coronavirus app would arrive in May, but early trials were dogged by problems, and developers abandoned home-grown technology in favour of Apple AAPL.O and Google s GOOGL.O model in June.
As the delay lengthened, the government downplayed the importance of smartphones in fighting coronavirus, saying that rather than an app being central to the test and trace system, it was “the cherry on the cake”.
Matt Hancock, The Health Secretary said that with infection rates rising, every tool available must be used 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,” he said.
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