United Kingdom

NHS Covid-tracking app gets tweaked to alert fewer people to self-isolate

The NHS Covid-tracking app was today updated to alert fewer users to self-isolate in hope of combating Britain's 'pingdemic' chaos.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the changes would 'ensure we are striking the right balance' between reducing disruption and protecting those at risk.

Health chiefs have now begged the country to keep using the 'life-saving' software.

The app — which only offers self-isolation guidance and isn't enforceable by law — will now only find close contacts of all infected people two days before they tested positive.

Before now, it trawled back through a user's Bluetooth history for five days to send out quarantine alerts. 

The NHS Covid-tracking app was today updated to alert fewer users to self-isolate in hope of combating Britain's 'pingdemic' chaos. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the changes would 'ensure we are striking the right balance' between reducing disruption and protecting those at risk

Mr Javid said: 'We want to reduce the disruption that self-isolation can cause for people and businesses, while ensuring we’re protecting those most at risk from this virus. 

'This update to the app will help ensure that we are striking the right balance.

'It’s so important that people isolate when asked to do so in order to stop the spread of the virus and protect their communities.'   

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the changes would 'ensure we are striking the right balance' between reducing disruption and protecting those at risk

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: 'The NHS Covid App is a really practical example of how technology can be used to fight the biggest challenges we face in protecting and improving our health.

'The app is the simplest, easiest, and fastest way to find out whether you have been exposed to the virus, and it has saved thousands of lives over the course of this pandemic.

'I strongly encourage everyone, even those fully vaccinated, to continue using the app. 

'It is a lifesaving tool that helps us to stay safe and to protect those closest to us as we return to a more familiar way of life.' 

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