With one million downloads in the first day and more than ten million over the first weekend the new NHS Covid-19 app is clearly being taken seriously, so why is this track and trace technology important to your business?
What does the app do?
The NHS Covid-19 app will tell you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
‘Close contact’ is the new term being used by the government and means standing or sitting within 2 metres of another person for longer than 15 minutes.
If the app recognises you have been in close contact, you will receive a notification on your phone informing you of this and a countdown for your self-isolation period will begin on the app.
The self-isolation period is 14 days.
How does it work?
The governments new ‘track and trace’ app works by scanning for other app-users using Bluetooth.
It is a very simple system. As your app scans for others, the signal strength will determine how close you are to other users and it will build up a points tally based on this and timescale.
If you are in close contact with another app user for five minutes, your devices will exchange Bluetooth digital handshakes or ‘keys’ and will therefore recognise one another and store data.
Why does your business need to know about the app?
It is important to encourage your employees to download the app as this may avoid a closure of your office or venue.
If an employee comes into close contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 they can self-isolate which will avoid an entire team potentially becoming infected.
A check-in function has also been included on the app which is incredibly important if you are the owner or manager of a venue such as a bar or restaurant.
This function will not only track if someone who has tested positive has visited your venue but will also begin to correlate information that could have repercussions for your business.
The app will recognise if your business is a high-transmission venue or low-transmission venue. In time, app-users may begin to boycott high-transmission venues in favour of lower transmission ones.
This could make it all the more important to recognise and practice safe-guarding procedures, as it may not only slow the spread of Covid-19, but also bring app-users to your business as a known safe destination!