Bank rules force staff to turn off NHS COVID-19 tracing app at work

By Iain Withers and Sinead Cruise

LONDON (Reuters) – Branch staff at some of Britain’s biggest banks say rules that require them to store phones in lockers while at work are putting them at undue risk of COVID-19 from colleagues and customers, as they cannot use the country’s tracing app.

Lloyds Banking Group <LLOY.L>, along with rival TSB, are among those advising employees to deactivate the NHS Track & Trace app during office hours, when they are not allowed to keep phones on their person.

Some banks ask staff and cashiers to store phones away to prevent leaks of sensitive customer data, although this is not formally required by regulator the Financial Conduct Authority.

Under current government guidelines, users of the NHS app are advised to disable bluetooth or pause the app when away from their phones to avoid false notifications.

Other companies have told staff to pause the app

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NHS COVID-19 app: which iPhone and Android phones do NOT work?

The software is designed to help contain the spread of Covid-19 by alerting users whenever they’ve been in close contact with someone who later tests positive for the virus. Until now, the UK Track and Trace system has relied on people handing over their contact information, including name and mobile number, when booking tables in restaurants, taking part in gym classes, or ordering in their local pub.

With the app installed, smartphone owners will be automatically sent a notification and issued with further guidance if they’ve been in the same venue, public transport, or in close proximity outside, without someone who tested positive for the infection.

NHS COVID-19, which is available to people in England and Wales (with separate apps for Scotland and Northern Ireland), will send you a message whenever you’ve been close to someone who has tested positive. When that happens, the NHS will employ a “risk-assessment” algorithm

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ICO Investigating Complaints About “Unsolicited” Texts Sent To Promote NHS COVID-19 App

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is investigating complaints about “unsolicited” text messages and emails sent to promote the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app, The Register reports.

The NHS Test and Trace app, which launched on 24 September and is based on the previously-rejected Exposure Notification framework from Apple and Google, has so-far been downloaded more than 14 million times.

In a bid to encourage more Brits to install the app, NHS Digital sent texts and emails to all UK residents over the age of 16 who had previously provided their contact details to a GP. As noted by The Register, those contacted had not specifically opted in to receive marketing communications regarding the NHS COVID-19 app.


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Curse those who presume we can all use new technology like NHS Covid-19 app – Sarah Todd

IGNORANCE isn’t always bliss. To be completely blinkered towards new technology is nothing to be proud of.

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 11:42 am

The NHS Covid-19 app is proving challenging for the less tech-savvy, writes Sarah Todd. Picture: PA

However, when did our country become a place where it was presumed that the entire population knows what an “app” is?

Broadcasts to the nation keep reminding us to protect our loved ones and “download the app”. Just this weekend gone, every newspaper in the country seemed to have had its front page taken over with the public health advert for the new NHS Covid-19 app.

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Apparently – forgive the pun – it alerts you if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson scans his NHS
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Ignoring isolation request from NHS app is not illegal

Matt Hancock said today on Times Radio it wouldn't be illegal to ignore a message from the coronavirus app telling you to go into self-isolation. (PA)
Matt Hancock said today on Times Radio it wouldn’t be illegal to ignore a message from the coronavirus app telling you to go into self-isolation. (PA)

It will not be illegal to ignore the NHS app telling you to self-isolate, Matt Hancock confirmed today.

Speaking on Times Radio the health secretary said it was not mandatory to enter self-isolation if the app told you to, but it is if an NHS test and trace member of staff tells you to.

On Monday it will be illegal in England to not enter self-isolation after being told to do so by a staff member of NHS test and trace, with the threat of a £10,000 fine.

Hancock said: “If the app tells you to self isolate then you should self isolate, if an NHS test and trace contact tracer tells you to then you must by law.”

Watch: How does the Covid-19

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Contact tracing: New NHS COVID-19 app launches in England and Wales

The UK National Health Service’s (NHS) official COVID-19 contact-tracing app has been launched across England and Wales following months of delays.

Available from today on the Apple App Store and Google Play, the NHS COVID-19 app uses Bluetooth technology to detect whether someone has come into contact with another person who has reported COVID-19 symptoms.

Encounters are recorded by the app so that if someone later reports being COVID-19 positive, other people they have come into close contact to are alerted.

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These people will then be instructed to self-isolate for 14 days. The app features a countdown clock that will show users how long they must remain at home for and will help them book a free COVID-19 test from the NHS.

A QR code scanner is also included in the new NHS COVID-19 app, which smartphone owners can use

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NHS Covid-19 app: England and Wales get smartphone contact tracing for over-16s

By Leo Kelion & Rory Cellan-Jones
Technology reporters

Related Topics
  • Coronavirus pandemic

NHS Covid-10 app

image captionUsers will be told to self-isolate if the app determines they are at high risk of being infected

People living in England and Wales are being urged to download the government’s official contact-tracing app following its official release.

NHS Covid-19 instructs users to self-isolate for 14 days if it detects they were nearby someone who has the virus.

It also has a check-in scanner to alert owners if a venue they have visited is found to be an outbreak hotspot.

Anyone over the age of 16 is being asked to install the app onto their smartphone.

That is a change from trials, which were limited to the over-18s.

The move reflects a desire by health chiefs for the software to be used by as many students in

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