LONDON (Reuters) – England and Wales launch a COVID-19 smartphone app on Thursday, allowing users to trace contacts, check the local level of risk and record visits to venues such as pubs, four months after the technology was promised to the public.
The NHS COVID-19 app comes as Britain braces for a second wave of infections, with daily cases numbers rising at rates not seen since the peak of the pandemic and a testing system unable to cope with demand in many areas.
The government had said a COVID-19 app would arrive in May, but early trials were dogged by problems, and developers abandoned home-grown technology in favour of Apple <AAPL.O> and Google’s <GOOGL.O> model in June.
As the delay lengthened, the government downplayed the importance of smartphones in fighting COVID-19, saying that rather than an app being central to the test and trace system, it was …
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