Retracted: NHS COVID-19 App Benefits & Usage Guidelines

Instructions for Submitting a Positive Test Result

If you are below the age of 18 and receive a positive result for coronavirus (COVID-19), it is essential to inform a trusted adult prior to taking any action.

Submitting a Test Result

If you are utilizing app version 5.0 or above, you have the capability to input any positive lateral flow or PCR result for contact tracing purposes, regardless of whether it stems from an NHS or paid-for test. In this scenario, there is no requirement to input an 8-character code, even if one has been provided by the COVID-19 testing service.

For negative or void results, the app will not accept them as suitable for contact tracing.

Individuals who are using an app version older than 5.0, must input a test result exclusively from an NHS test and will be prompted to enter an 8-character code. It is advised to ensure that you have the latest version installed in order to access the most recent features and guidance.

Discover the steps to update your app

Consequences of Submitting a Test Result

Once you have entered your positive result, you have the option to share it for contact tracing purposes. The app will anonymously inform other users who have had close proximity to you that they may be at risk.

These users will receive a 'close contact' alert with guidance on how to remain safe and protect others. It is not obligatory for them to self-isolate at home. Contact tracing plays a crucial role in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

Furthermore, you will receive the most up-to-date health advice based on the information provided.

It is important to note that the app does not access personal details or track location, nor does it share test results with other services.

If You Have Taken an NHS Lateral Flow Test

It is important to differentiate between informing the app about your NHS lateral flow test result for anonymous contact tracing and reporting the result to the COVID-19 testing service on GOV.UK.

If you have undergone an NHS lateral flow test, it is necessary to report your result on GOV.UK, if you haven't already done so. Alternatively, you may also report the result by calling 119, but only if the result is positive.

Note: It is not possible to report a result on GOV.UK (or by calling 119) more than 24 hours after the test has been taken. Additionally, results from paid-for tests cannot be reported on GOV.UK or by calling 119.

Error Message When Entering a Code in the App

If you encounter the following error message while attempting to input your COVID-19 test result in the app:

‘Code not recognised. Please make sure you are using a valid code.’

It is important to note that in app version 5.0 or later, it is no longer necessary to input an 8-character code to submit a test result. We recommend updating your app to the latest version and then re-entering your test result.

Learn how to update the app

Steps to Check Symptoms

In order to check your symptoms, access the app and select the 'Check symptoms' button. You will be asked a series of simple questions that require either a 'yes' or 'no' response. Once you have answered the questions, you can review a summary of your answers before submitting this information to the app. Based on your responses and your geographical location, the app will provide appropriate guidance. Please keep the app updated to ensure you receive the most recent health guidance. Please be aware that guidance may vary between England and Wales.

You are able to enter symptoms for up to 5 days in the past.

The NHS COVID-19 app frequently undergoes updates to enhance content, accessibility, and functionality. It is of utmost importance that you keep the app updated to receive the latest advice and guidance.

Depending on your phone and app update settings, the app may update automatically.

For further information on enabling automatic app upgrades or manually upgrading, please refer to the following resources:

  • Learn how to update apps on your Android device
  • Discover how to update apps on your Apple device

Due to the utilization of Apple and Google technology, it is crucial to ensure that you have the most up-to-date version of your phone's operating system.

In certain instances where an app update holds great significance, you may receive a message from us requesting you to update your app or operating system.

Using the app in a different country

The app is currently accessible only in England and Wales.

It is not compatible with contact tracing apps from other countries. Therefore, if you travel outside of England or Wales, you will not receive any alerts from individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have shared their results through their own country's app.

If you experience symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or receive an exposure notification while abroad, always refer to the local guidelines of the country you are in.

If you have specific inquiries regarding international travel, you can seek assistance from the COVID-19 enquiries service.

Deleting the app

The app is not mandatory, and you have the freedom to delete it whenever you wish.

Instructions on deleting apps from your smartphone are available for the following:

  • Apple iPhones
  • Android phones

By deleting the app, you will no longer receive alerts and notifications.

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