Isle of Wight Contact Tracing App no longer ‘a priority’ says Minister

Isle of Wight users of the Contact Tracing App are still trialling a version that doesn’t even include symptoms which should have been added four weeks ago

Person holding a mobile phone to download the contact tracing app

Isle of Wight residents, who have been kept in the dark about the future of the Coronavirus Contact Tracing App may be surprised to learn that it is no longer “a priority”.

Responding to questions at the Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday afternoon, the Minister for Innovation at the Department of Health and Social Care, Lord Bethell, said he was not sure if the Contact Tracing App – which was due to rolled out across the country at the beginning of June – would be out by winter.

Project leads to step back
In addition, the BBC report that the project’s two lead managers – Matthew Gould (NHS Digital) and Geraint Lewis (Public Health England) – are stepping back.

They say they’d intended for the App to be rolled out nationally by now, but had always planned to move back to their previous roles this month.

Bethell: No longer “a priority”
Isle of Wight residents have been trialling the App for over six weeks. News OnTheWight reported last week that Ministers were considering a different approach.

In answer to a question about the App at yesterday’s committee, Lord Bethell said,

“We are seeking to get something going for the winter, but it isn’t the priority for us at the moment.”

Still on version 1.02
News that the Contact Tracing App is no longer a priority might explain why users still only have access to version 1.02 – which does not include the symptoms of anosmia (a loss of taste or smell). It should have been updated over four weeks ago on 18th May.

C19 cases and deaths
With a population of 140,000, there have been 202 lab-confirmed cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on the Isle of Wight, with 82 deaths.

This makes the Isle of Wight death rate 40.1 per cent – higher than some countries around the World have recorded.

Read the BBC article in full.

Government Covid-19 guidance: Stay alert and stay safe
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently (video tips).

Social distancing
It is recommended that you maintain at least a two metre gap (about 6.5ft) from people who are not from your household.

Seeking advice
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service that can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Thanks to Mike Taplin for the heads-up.

Thursday, 18th June, 2020 8:28am



Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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8 Comments on "Isle of Wight Contact Tracing App no longer ‘a priority’ says Minister"

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Poor communication from the government. Many of the Island population downloaded the App within days of the launch, keen to help. Many of us filled out the following questionaire? What feedback do we get? Absolutely nothing apart from a lot of tosh from the Island MP. There is no shame in admitting that something doesn’t work as they had hoped with an explanation as to why. What… Read more »
Steve Goodman

The app originally deemed essential, but since slowly downplayed…

Much more useful than the government’s routine poor communication, cover-ups, spin, and secretly discussed and decided seriously harmful choices: the information, explanations, and recommendations provided by reliable sources such as Private Eye’s MD.


I thought if I downloaded the app I would be protected from catching covid.


Boris Johnson just reported to be involved in a car crash!

I thought he was the car crash?

Alternative Perspective

If a second wave sweeps in can you imaging the economic damage if everyone’s smart phone. started pinging forcing workers to quarantine?

Yesterday the national rollout was postponed to the winter, as no longer a priority, and today I see that the NHS has said that it is looking instead at the Google/Apple type of application. It was becoming clear that the App we have on the island wasn’t working, since after a while it goes to sleep to conserve the battery, after which it fails to register people… Read more »

Absolute farce, it was a con from the start.