Islanders thanked as government abandons contact-tracing app trial

Credit: PA

Residents on the Isle of Wight have been thanked for their role in testing the coronavirus contact-tracing app.

It comes as the government announced it is abandoning the trial, in order to focus on technology from Apple and Google.

The app had been tested on the island from May 5th, in readiness for use across the rest of the UK.

During the trial, more than 54,000 islanders responded to the government's calls to download the app.

The app worked by alerting the user if they had come into contact with someone showing symptoms of Covid-19.

No date was set for the UK roll-out, despite Health Secretary Matt Hancock having previously said the app would be available in mid-May.

Credit: PA

However, officials said the app was "highly inaccurate" when used on iPhones, only identifying around 4% of contacts.

In a post on Twitter, Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely, said the app was "poor at picking up iPhone interactions".

Islanders are being told they can now uninstall the app from their mobile phones.

Matt Hancock thanked residents of the Isle of Wight for dedicating their time to the project, saying "we are hugely grateful".

He said: "ministers remain determined to continue in our ambition" to develop an app that "meets the technical, security and user needs of the public".

Island MP Bob Seely said he was "sad at the decision to not proceed" with the app and thanked those who downloaded it.

Speaking about the use of the Isle of Wight as a place to pilot schemes, he said he would "continue to champion the island".

He said: "I will do so because we need to get the Island at the front of the queue, not the back, where we have been for too long. I am unapologetic about this."