Contact tracing app to launch in England and Wales later this month

After multiple delays, the UK government has announced plans to release a new Covid-19 contact tracing app in England and Wales on September 24th. The app will implement Apple and Google’s Exposure Notifications API, released with iOS 13.5.

The first version of the app was trialed in the Isle of Wight in May but ditched after major technical problems. It’s been rebuilt using the Exposure Notifications API which was developed by Apple and Google and implemented into iOS and Android. Improvements to the API with iOS 13.7 mean that you won’t need a third-party app to enable contact tracing if your public health authority allows it.

The app will let people can QR codes to register outings to cafes, restaurants and other hospitality venues. Businesses will need to display these. A handwritten register will also be available for those without access to a smartphone.

“We need to use every tool at our disposal to control the spread of the virus including cutting-edge technology,” said England’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. “

Tighter coronavirus restrictions are to be introduced in England on Monday to prevent more than six people from different households meeting up indoors or outdoors. The restrictions are part of a plan to slow down the transmission and spread of Covid-19.

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Ben Ward
Senior Editor, discussing everything Apple and supporting other writers and members of Apple TLD's team of volunteers.
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