Letter: Here are the new features of the Test and Trace App and how they will help tackle Covid-19

The MD of the new Test and Trace App explains the new features of the App and why he believes the Island should embrace it

woman in street using mobile phone

OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.

This Letter to the Editor is shared from Simon Thompson, Managing Director of the Test and Trace App, currently being trialed on the Isle of Wight. Ed

Let us know: Have you downloaded it? If so, how are you finding it?

If not, do you plan to download it?

As an Isle of Wight resident, you will now have received a letter inviting you to be one of the first people in the country to download and use the new NHS Test and Trace App.

Thousands of you have already installed the App on your phones. By doing so, you are not only helping us to improve it ahead of the national rollout, but also helping to control the spread of Coronavirus in your communities.

Feedback and support has been second to none
I want to thank you all for your feedback and support in our mission so far, which has been second to none. You downloaded the first App in your thousands and provided us with valuable insight that we took forward.

While the first version had its flaws, it is thanks to you that we have a new and improved version that will play a key role in our mission to beat this virus.

If you have not yet downloaded the App, I urge you to come on board. 

What’s different about this App
For those residents who have not yet used the App, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the major differences between this App and the first version.

This is so much more than just a Contact Tracing App – it has a range of features which will give you and your community maximum freedom at minimum risk.

Every App user is entirely anonymous
It uses the latest in security technology to ensure every App user is entirely anonymous, and the only thing being tracked is the virus. It cannot track your whereabouts and it cannot tell anyone – and that includes the government – who or where you are.

The App does not hold personal information about you – such as your name, address or date of birth.

Built with Google and Apple
The new App has been built in partnership with some of the biggest companies and institutions from around the world.

We have worked closely with Google, Apple, The Alan Turing Institute and Oxford University and the teams building similar Apps in other countries and that is why we are confident that the App works.

Help control spread of Coronavirus
The aim is to help you to understand if you are at risk of infection so you can take action to protect yourself and your community.

In doing so, it will help us to control the spread of Coronavirus and help us all to get back to the things we love.

How it works
The App logs the time and distance you’ve spent near to anyone, even if you don’t know them, so it can alert you if that person later tests positive for Covid-19. It helps you to easily book a free test, and quickly get the result. 
The App has a range of additional, enhanced features that will help to reduce personal and public risk from Covid-19 as part of the end-to-end NHS Test and Trace service.

Level of risk in your area
An alert level on the App will let you know the level of Coronavirus risk in your area. QR check-ins at local businesses will let you know whether you have visited a venue where you may have met someone who later tests positive for Covid-19.

A new symptom checker will allow users to check if they have Coronavirus symptoms and order a free test all in one place.

Isolation countdown
If you are told to self-isolate, a timer feature will help count down that period and you will be given relevant advice.

The more people who can help us to trial this App, the more we can make improvements and ensure it is the very best product for the nation.

Every single person who downloads the App will be playing a vital role in making sure we get this right and will help us get back to the things we love. 

Thanks to Island residents
On behalf of the whole App team and Test and Trace service, I would like to thank the Isle of Wight residents for your support in this major public health response.

You can see the new features on this video demo of the Test and Trace App.

Image: John Tuesday under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 21st August, 2020 3:20pm


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Filed under: Government, Health, Letter to the Editor

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4 Comments on "Letter: Here are the new features of the Test and Trace App and how they will help tackle Covid-19"

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I know only two people that have managed to download it. I just doesn’t work on older mobiles


I’ve downloaded and installed it ok. The leaflet tells you the minimum Android and Apple OS specifications.

Rhos yr Alarch

It was interesting to find a separate sheet with the letter about the app, saying that anyone who downloaded it would become part of a research project. Aside from issues around informed consent, this also raises questions about the usefulness of research which does not take into account those people who were unable or unwilling to complete the download…?


Vaccine is the only answer and people taking more responsibility for their actions pure and simple.