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How do I download the NHS COVID-19 app?
4th March, 2021 |
To combat the spread of COVID-19, many things have had to adapt in our day-to-day lives. And our cherished mobile phones are not immune from this. Indeed they’ve often been at the very forefront of changes.
Our phones have worked harder than ever before during lockdown. We’ve used them to fill the social void with apps like Messenger and Facebook; chat with our work colleagues over Zoom and Slack; and watch endless hours of films on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
However, they don’t just help us stay connected – they also help to keep us safe. To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, governments and tech wizards have worked together to create tools to warn us if we’ve potentially been exposed to cases of COVID-19.
Staying safe in uncertain times has always been part of life but even more so now. With technology acting as a lifeline for many, there’s never been a more important time to arrange adequate mobile phone insurance and protect your potentially life-saving device.
What is the NHS COVID-19 app?
NHS COVID-19 is a contact tracing app for monitoring the spread of the pandemic through England and Wales. It has been available since 24th September 2020 for Android and iOS smartphones. It can be used by anyone aged 16 or over and is available in multiple languages. It’s an important tool that works alongside national and local contact tracing to help reduce the virus spread.
The contact tracing element of the app uses your Bluetooth connection to log the amount of time you spend near other app users. It calculates the distance between app users, so it can alert you if someone you’ve been near later tests positive for COVID-19 – even if you don’t know each other.
Why should I download it?
The NHS COVID-19 app is free and easy to use and anyone can download it. It’s currently the fastest and most accurate way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus. After all, the quicker you know you’ve been in contact with the virus, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and local community.
By downloading and using the app you really are doing your bit to help control the spread of the virus, protecting both yourself and your loved ones from infection if the numbers of cases rise in your area.
It does this in several ways:
- Trace – If you’ve been in close contact with another app user who has tested positive for coronavirus, you’ll receive an alert to tell you to stay at home and self-isolate.
- Alert – Lets you know if the level of coronavirus risk in your postcode district goes up or down.
- Check-in – When you visit businesses that display the NHS Test and Trace QR codes then you can easily check-in using the app. This means local health protection teams can send you an alert if you’ve visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus. While the alert is unlikely to tell you to self-isolate it will warn you to watch out for any developing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Symptoms – Use the app to check if you have coronavirus symptoms and see if you need to order a free test.
- Test – Helps you book a free test and sends your test results once they arrive.
- Isolate – Keep track of your self-isolation period through a countdown timer and access relevant advice. When you reach the end of the self-isolation period, it will send you a notification and further advice to follow.
With mobile phones such an integral part of combating the spread of COVID-19 and keeping us all safe, you need to protect your tech using mobile phone insurance. Policies through Gadget Cover can protect your device from accidental and liquid damage, theft, breakdown and unauthorised usage.
What data does the app capture?
The app has been designed to track the virus rather than people and uses the latest data security technology to protect your personal data. The NHS COVID-19 app protects your privacy and identity from other app users, and vise versa. Using randomly generated IDs the app cannot be used by the NHS or the government to identify who you are, or who you’ve been spending time with.
The app cannot:
- Use your GPS location or track your movements.
- Be used to check whether you’re self-isolating in accordance with the guidelines.
- Be used by the police to identify or track you.
- See personal information on your phone (like your messages, address book or phone contacts).
The data collected by the app is only ever stored on your phone. So, no one else can see or use it unless you choose to allow them to. For example, if you test positive for coronavirus, you’ll be asked if you want to share this information. If you decide to share it then, without sharing who you are, the app alerts other users who have been near you of the potential risk.
How to download the app
Downloading the app is as easy and as straightforward as any other. Simply do the following:
- Open the App Store for your phone.
- Find the NHS COVID-19 App using search.
- Tap Get or Install to start the download. For iPhone users you might be asked for Apple ID details or other verification.
- Once the app has downloaded, you’ll need to turn on Bluetooth so it can work.
Importantly, all mobile network providers, including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, Sky and Virgin, have confirmed that all in-app activity will not come out of customers’ data allowance.
Mobile phone insurance to protect your tech
At a time of such uncertainty, mobile phone owners can be assured of Gadget Cover’s to protect their valuable devices from common issues.
For an additional premium, policies can also cover your mobile phone, tablets and smartwatches against loss.
With over 25 years of experience, our policies can also provide the following benefits:
- Worldwide cover to include use of your gadget anywhere in the world up to 180 days in any one year.
- Cover for accessories (up to £150) if they’re lost, stolen or damaged at the same time as your phone.
Get a quote for mobile phone insurance today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.