NHS Test and Trace App

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should install the NHS Test and Trace app?

If you live on the Newham or are an NHS volunteer, and are 18 or over, you can download the app on your phone. If you have more than one phone, install the app on the one you use most often and carry this with you at all times.

If you're under 18, you cannot download and use the app yet. This is being kept under review.

Do I have to download the NHS Test and Trace app (is it mandatory)?

The NHS Test and Trace app is entirely voluntary and you can choose whether or not to download it. You can also uninstall and delete the app whenever you like.

The app is not pushed automatically to smartphones. However, if you share an Apple or Google ID, it's possible that the app is installed on your smartphone because a family member has installed it on another smartphone. You can read more information about this:

Should I download the NHS Test and Trace app if I have already had coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You should download the app even if you've tested positive for coronavirus before, or think you may have had it. If you've had coronavirus, you probably have some immunity to it, which means you may not get infected again for a while. However, it’s not clear how long your immunity will last, so it’s possible that you could still become infected. Also, if you come into contact with an infected person, you could get the virus on your belongings and pass it on.

Downloading the app will help protect your family, friends and those in your community as well as yourself. This is because the app supports the NHS's wider programme to stop the spread of the virus, called NHS Test and Trace. The quicker we can stop the spread of the virus, the sooner we can get back to a more normal life.

What if I don’t have a smartphone?

The NHS Test and Trace app only works on smartphones that are compatible with the Exposure Notification framework developed by Apple and Google.

Even if you do not have a compatible smartphone yourself, you will still benefit from other people downloading the app. This is because even low level use of the app will help us understand more about how the virus spreads and will support the wider NHS Test and Trace programme, which has been designed to fight the virus. The app works in addition to the regular contact tracing that is already taking place throughout the UK.

Will downloading the NHS Test and Trace app mean I no longer need to worry about social distancing?

You must still follow the government’s advice on social distancing, even when you're using the app.

As part of a large-scale, integrated contact tracing and testing programme, the app is playing an important role in protecting communities and helping life return to normal as quickly as possible.

Should I use the NHS Test and Trace app while I'm at work?

It's important you use the app at all times, including while at work, except if you:

  • Store your phone in a locker while you're working or are involved in a leisure activity, like swimming
  • Are already protected by a Perspex (or equivalent) screen
  • Are a health and care worker and are wearing medical grade PPE, such as a surgical mask, in a clinical setting

Can I use the NHS Test and Trace app on another device such as a laptop, tablet or Apple watch?

The app is designed for use on phones only.  It’s not designed for use on laptops, PCs or Apple watches.  It’s only effective if you have it on a device that is with you the most of the time.

What if I have more than one phone, or share a phone with someone?

The app is designed to be used by one person per phone. You should download and use the app on your own smartphone if you have one.

If you have more than one phone, install the app on the phone you use most often and carry this with you at all times.  If the phone you use most often is a work phone, and you’re having trouble downloading the app, please check with your employer.

Can I use the NHS Test and Trace app in other countries?

Currently, the app is only available in Newham and to selected groups elsewhere in the UK. The UK is continuing to work with other app development teams across the world to create an app that can be used even while travelling in other countries.

You can view more questions and answers here.