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NHS Test and Trace App Advice

SOME users of the NHS covid-19 contact-tracing app have been reporting incorrect ‘exposure alerts’ - and THIS is what you need to know about it.   

The glitch in the app was first pointed out last week and has escalated in recent days. 

Affected users say they received a notification on their phone telling them they’ve been near someone who tested positive. 

However, when the user went to click the push notification in a bid to enter the app to read the information in full, the message disappeared - and they were left with no idea as to whether they should self-isolate or not.

Now, however, the Department of Health and Social Care has moved to clarify the situation. 

These disappearing messages are NOT official Test and Trace instructions to self-isolate. 

Instead, they are "COVID-19 EXPOSURE LOGGING" notifications which are being incorrectly sent by Google and Apple as part of an unfortunate bug in the system. 

 

The disappearing messages look like this (below)

test and trace message

 

An official Test and Trace instruction to self-isolate would come by text, email or phone call. 

This would also produce a message inside the app - not simply a push notification - which reads: "Please stay at home and self-isolate to keep yourself and others safe."

 

An official NHS Test and Trace message looks like the below: 

test and trace message 2

 

You should then log on to the NHS Test and Trace website, which is normally the easiest way for you and the service to communicate with each other – but, if not, a trained call handler will talk you through what you must do. 

Under-18s will get a phone call and a parent or guardian will be asked to give permission for the call to continue

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "NHS Covid-19 app users only need to self-isolate if they get a notification directly from the app advising them to do so."

There’s other important information to remember to re the Test and Trace app. 

 

Contact tracers will: 

- call you from 0300 013 5000. Local contact tracers will contact you from a local council number. If you’re unsure if this is genuine, please contact your local council for advice

- send you text messages from ‘NHStracing’

- ask you to sign into the NHS Test and Trace contact-tracing website

- ask for your full name to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating

- ask about the coronavirus symptoms you have been experiencing

- ask you to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with in the 2 days prior to your symptoms starting

- ask if anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England

 

Contact tracers will NEVER

- ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)

- ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind

- ask for any details about your bank account

- ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts

- ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone

- disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts

- provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms

- ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else

- ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS


** For the full logistics of how Test and Trace functions, go to the dedicated Government page: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

 

If you need any further assistance, email: covid@hope.ac.uk




Published on 09/10/2020