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Contact Tracing: Computer Software

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 92800, tabled on 21 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure equitable access to contact tracing for people who do not have a smartphone after the Covid-19 contact tracing app is launched on 24 September 2020.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

16 November 2020

The National Health Service COVID-19 app requires users to be owners of smartphones that can install Apple iOS 13.5 and above and Android Marshmallow and above. This is related to the hardware needed for this Bluetooth technology to work effectively and is the same in all countries with apps using the Google and Apple exposure notification API for contact tracing.

People who do not have a compatible smartphone will still benefit from other people downloading the app. This is because people who use the app will help to break chains of transmission.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.