The NHS Covid-19 app has launched and includes a number of features, including contact tracing and a QR code-based check-in function.

Contact tracing
The contact tracing feature uses Bluetooth to identify phones nearby (called encounters) and it uses the strength of the Bluetooth signal to determine how close the encounter is. When some-one tests positive for Covid-19, the system can send out alerts to people they have had encounters with. The alert advises people they should self-isolate if they have been involved in “high risk” encounters. These are determined using a few pieces of data and an algorithm, but generally someone is likely to be at an increased risk of contracting the virus if they’ve been within two metres of someone who tested positive for 15 minutes or more.

Advice for staff
When you are working in our premises, we advise you to turn off the contact tracing feature on your app:

This is because the tracing does not take into account the PPE that we are wearing and the fact that we are a Covid secure site. When you leave the site you can turn the feature back on again.

If you are advised to self-isolate by the app
f you receive an alert advising you to self-isolate, you should do so immediately and contact the occupational health (OH) team. Also inform your manager so they are aware of your absence, plan cover and record on health roster.
If managers could also check that team members have contacted OH that would be appreciated.

We will provide further guidance for using the ‘venue check-in’ function on site as soon as possible.

Check-in feature
The check-in feature uses the camera of your phone to register QR codes at certain venues. These are already in place in our main concourse and will be installed in many waiting areas and other locations where appropriate. The QR codes exist as a way for people to remember where they have been in case they need to tell contract tracers their activities. If local health protection teams decide that people with coronavirus have been to a venue, they may decide that anyone who was at that venue at a certain time should get an alert through the app.

If you have received a QR code poster for your waiting area, please download this form to offer your patients/visitors a paper alternative for those who do not have a mobile device to use the app, but still wish to be logged as having visited your area. If necessary, please support patients and/or visitors to complete the form. Further guidance about QR posters can be found here.

Guidance for staff
Staff are not required to scan the QR codes, but if sitting in Costa, the Food Court, or staff eating area etc. you must maintain 2 meter distance when eating/drinking (i.e. not wearing mask).