PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Help slow the spread of COVID-19

There has never been a more important moment to work together to help solve one of the world’s most pressing problems – the spread of COVID-19.

For centuries, tracing the contact among potentially affected individuals has been one of the methodologies public health authorities have used to try to slow the transmission of infectious diseases. This has traditionally been a very labour-intensive, manual process.

Now public health authorities are turning to mobile phone technology to help improve and automate the most difficult aspects of contact tracing.

Exposure Notification technology assists public health authorities in their efforts to notify people of possible COVID-19 exposure in a way that’s more reliable, efficient and private.

The apps below integrate this technology.

Download the app for the country you live in (iOS 13.5 or newer required).

England and Wales

    NHS COVID-19

    Official NHS contact tracing

    VIEW

Northern Ireland

    StopCOVID NI

    The contact tracing app for NI

    VIEW

Scotland

    Protect Scotland

    Medical

    VIEW

How does the technology work?

Once you’ve downloaded the app and turned on Exposure Notifications, your iPhone will regularly broadcast a series of random numbers, via Bluetooth, that frequently change and are not tied to your identity.

Your iPhone will also listen for random numbers sent by other iPhones (and Android smartphones) that have the app installed, and securely store them.

At least once a day, the system will download keys for the random numbers that have been verified by public health authorities as belonging to people confirmed to be positive for COVID-19.

Should there be a match between the numbers stored on your iPhone and the downloaded list, public health authorities will determine if you have been exposed and whether to notify you with advice on next steps.

Is my information secure?

Only government public health authorities have access to the technology that enables Exposure Notifications, and their apps must meet specific criteria around privacy and security.

To further protect your privacy and prevent tracking, the random numbers you broadcast change every 10 to 20 minutes. The system is designed so neither Apple nor Google has access to information related to any specific individual.

What does the app do if I test positive for COVID-19?

If at some point you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you can choose to report that in the app. With your consent, the app will share your randomised numbers with public health authorities so that they may notify other users with whom you have been in contact over the previous 14 days.

Can I turn off Exposure Notifications?

Yes. You can disable this technology at any time by uninstalling the app or disabling it in Settings. Go to Settings and search for “Exposure Notifications”.