The COVID-19 contact confirmation app launched by the British National Insurance Service NHS has been used in England and Wales to issue alerts recommending self-isolation to suspected cases of COVID-19 patients and those who have had strong contact with them. However, the UK government said it was considering easing the conditions for sending contact confirmation app notifications.
The COVID-19 Contact Confirmation app detects access to the device on which the app is installed and notifies suspected rich contacts when a new positive COVID-19 user is reported. Initially, the NHS developed the app on its own route, but switched to the policy of using the Corona 19 tracking API built into iOS and Android. This API is a system that measures the distance and duration with other devices using Bluetooth LE, a low-power communication mode Bluetooth.
The NHS contact confirmation app, announced in September 2020, is being used in England and Wales and has sent 1.7 million people advised to self-isolate by February 2021, it said.
Currently, the standard for the NHS app to send an alarm is to send an alarm for at least 15 minutes within 2 meters of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 positive. The app sends a person who has been reported as a suspected rich contact person to self-quarantine for 10 days after contact. In addition, self-isolation is required for 10 days from the point of contact. For example, if a notice is received 8 days after contact, the actual self-quarantine period is 2 days.
However, Transport Minister Grand Sapps said the UK government is considering easing the sensitivity of the contact confirmation app after 19 July 2021. “Based on scientific advice, we are trying to adapt the app to the situation,” he said, adding that health professionals will adjust the sensitivity of the contact confirmation app relative to where they are in the vaccination program.
In the UK, the number of new infections exceeded 30,000 on July 7, following the day when the number of new people exceeded 10,000 from mid-June due to the spread of the delta mutation. However, considering that the number of people who have completed the two-dose vaccination has increased and the risk of hospitalization and death has decreased, from July 19, most of the restrictions aimed at suppressing the spread of COVID-19 will be lifted. It can be seen that it is related to this.
As the number of people infected with COVID-19 rises, there is a surge in notices demanding self-isolation in England and Wales. In the last week of June 2021, a total of 360,000 alarms were sent, making it the largest number of people to self-quarantine in 2021.
The UK government has announced that from 16 August, men under the age of 18 and those who have completed two doses of vaccination will not need to self-isolate, but hospitality store officials have criticized the level of lifting the quarantine rules too low. An official said that one-third of employees in industries like restaurants and hotels were given self-isolation notices in July, appealing that this could lead to an industry collapse. There are also concerns that more people will reject the self-isolation request and uninstall the app. Related information can be found here.