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Contact Tracing: Computer Software

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 97017, tabled on 29 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to provide access to the NHS COVID-19 app for people with phones that are unable to use the current software.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

14 October 2020

We have always known that some people's phones would not be able to support the app. This is the same in all countries with apps using the Google and Apple exposure notification API for contact tracing. However, the app works on the vast majority of handsets – approximately nine out of 10 in the United Kingdom and this proportion will increase as people upgrade their handsets. We recognise that not everyone has a smartphone or is in a position to upgrade they handset. The NHS COVID-19 app is only one part of the wider NHS Test and Trace system and for those who cannot use the app, advice is available via NHS 119 and the phone-based contact tracing system.

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