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How to download COVID-19 track and trace app

The official Covid-19 track and trace app is finally available to download, with the government encouraging anyone in the UK aged 16 over to install it. 

The new app is free to download and offers lots of useful features including ‘venue check-in’ and contact tracing. Here’s how to get it and use it.

For Android users, you’ll need Android 6.0 (released in 2015) or higher on your smartphone to download the app. If you’re not sure which version of Android you have, you can check by heading to Settings > About Phone > Software Information. You should then see a number underneath ‘Android version’. 

iPhone users will need iOS 13.5 (released in May 2020) or higher to download the app. This unfortunately means the iPhone 6 and older Apple phone won’t be compatible. Any Apple phone as new as the iPhone 6S should be fine. 

Bluetooth 4.0 is also required, but you’ll likely have this if your Android / iPhone smartphone features the compatible operating software.

 

You should then find the ‘NHS COVID-19’ app in the app store. This shouldn’t be confused with the standard ‘NHS App’. It’s free to download, so you don’t need to worry about spending money. 

Once downloaded and opened, the app will ask you to agree to a couple of terms and conditions. You’ll also be asked to confirm you are over the age of 16. And then that’s it, the app will be up and running on your phone. 

Related: Best phone 2020

The most important feature of the NHS COVID-19 app is ‘Contact tracing’, which scans and logs other nearby app users so it can notify you if they test positive for coronavirus at a later point. 

You’ll then be sent advice for how to proceed, which may include self isolating for two weeks. It’s possible to deactivate the scanning temporarily, but it’s not recommended to do so.

The app also allows you to check into select venues by scanning official NHS QR codes. Entering your postcode will also notify you of the risk level in your local area. 

And if you’re unsure whether you have Covid-19 symptoms, the app has a handy checklist guide so you can make sure.

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