App to be tested in Isle of Wight and rolled out to rest of country in weeks if successful.
The trial of an app, which will track individuals’ recent contacts after being tested positive with coronavirus, will start in the UK on Tuesday.
The healthcare and council workers in the Isle of Wight will start testing the app introduced by the British government on Tuesday, and the rest of the population in the island will be able to download it later this week.
The contact-tracing app will be available across the whole country in a few weeks if the trial is successful, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a daily news briefing on Monday.
He urged all people in the Isle of Wight – an island off the cost of southern England – to download the new app.
“By downloading the app, you are protecting your own health, you are protecting the health of your loved ones and the health of your community,” Hancock said.
“Where the Isle of Wight goes, Britain follows.”
“Part of a new test, track and trace programme, the app will work together with enhanced contact tracing services and swab testing for those with potential COVID-19 symptoms to help minimise the spread of COVID-19,” a government statement said.
The app will “detect any other app users that the person has been in significant contact with over the past few days, including unknown contacts such as someone they may have sat next to on public transport,” when someone reports symptoms through it.
It will “anonymously alert these contacts and provide advice,” it added.
Following Italy, the UK has the second highest number of deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic in Europe with almost 29,000 victims.
There are currently more than 190,000 people who have tested positive across the country and around 4,000 people test positive on daily basis.