England’s contact-tracing app to finally launch on September 24

The government has installed within the app a decentralized architecture, which suggests that it’s ready to make use of exposure notification APIs offered by Apple and Google for official COVID-19 contacts-tracing apps, avoiding the technical issues related to iOS background Bluetooth detection.

England’s contact-tracing app to finally launch on September 24
England’s contact-tracing app to finally launch on September 24

England’s contact-tracing app to finally launch on September 24

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently announced that the coronavirus contact tracing app will launch in England and Wales on September, 24. It is believed that the app development had started back in May, but it has taken longer than expected to finally launch.

The government has installed within the app a decentralized architecture, which suggests that it’s ready to make use of exposure notification APIs offered by Apple and Google for official COVID-19 contacts-tracing apps, avoiding the technical issues related to iOS background Bluetooth detection.

Another feature that’s been introduced in the NHS COVID-19 app is a check-in feature for venues via scannable QR codes. The government is encouraging businesses and locations where people may get together, like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, libraries then on, to print out and display a QR code that app users can scan to check into the venue.

Venue check-in data are going to be retained on device for 21 days, per the DHSC. If an epidemic is identified at a location, its venue ID are going to be broadcast to all or any devices running the app — and people that contain recent check-ins will generate an on-device match.

TechCrunch quoted Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary as saying that they have to use every tool at their disposal to regulate the spread of the virus including cutting-edge technology. The launch of the app later this month across England and Wales may be a defining moment and can aid their ability to contain the virus at a critical time.