New NHS Covid-19 'Test and Trace' app launches in England

The NHS Test and Trace App has launched in England and Wales.

Health leaders in Cumbria are encouraging people to download it to their smartphones. They say the app is key part of the fight against COVID-19 in England and Wales.

The government abandoned its plans to set up its own Covid-19 tracing app in June to switch to technology used by Apple and Google, costing months of progress.

Scotland launched a similar app on September 10 but there are questions around how the apps work together. 

The Scottish Government is advising people who travel to Scotland, even for a day, to download the Scottish app.

The new NHS Test and Trace app has launched in England Credit: PA

ITV Border has learned that both apps don't work simultaneously on one phone, meaning people will need to download both apps but turn one off depending on where they are. 

The first version of the app was intended for the whole of the UK. It was trialled on the Isle of Wight in May but later abandoned.

The new app in England also lets people scan QR codes to register visits to hospitality venues. Businesses in England are legally required to display the code in order to support the app.

The NHS app will be used, alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus.

It's hoped the app will help local authorities understand if the virus is spreading in their area, and allow them to respond quickly to stop it spreading further and save lives.

The app allows users to ‘check-in’ to local businesses by scanning the NHS Test & Trace QR code poster.

It will alert users if they have come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

The QR code system on the new Test and Trace app Credit: PA

The app can be downloaded on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store via

Businesses and services included in the new legal requirement to display an NHS Track & Trace QR code poster are:


  • Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs.

  • Cafes, including workplace canteens.

  • Bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs.

  • Public houses.

Leisure and tourism:

  • Amusement arcades.

  • Art fairs.

  • Betting and bingo halls.

  • Casinos.

  • Clubs providing team sporting activities.

  • Facilities for use by elite and professional sportspeople (including sports stadia).

  • Heritage locations and attractions open to the public (including castles, stately homes and other historic houses).

  • Hotels and other guest accommodation provided on a commercial basis, including in bed and breakfast accommodation, boats, campsites, caravans, chalets, guest houses, holiday parks, hostels, motels, pubs, sleeper trains and yurts

  • Indoor sport and leisure centres.

  • Outdoor swimming pools and lidos.

  • Museums and galleries.

  • Music recording studios open for public hire or other public use.

  • Public libraries.

Close contact services:

  • Barbers.

  • Beauticians (including those providing cosmetic, aesthetic and wellness treatments).

  • Dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers.

  • Hairdressers.

  • Nail bars and salons.

  • Skin and body piercing services.

  • Sports and massage therapists.

  • Tattooists.

Local authority run services:

  • Community centres.

  • Youth and community centres.

  • Village halls.