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New NHS Test and Trace app powered by Apple and Google set to launch today

HEALTH chiefs will on Thursday announce the launch of the new NHS Test and Trace app powered by Apple and Google.

It is expected to be a “stripped back” version of the previous app, which proved too unreliable for contact tracing.

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Users will be told local infection rates and be able to scan barcodes at venues to receive notifications of outbreaks.

They will also be able to check symptoms and book tests.

But it is understood the app is unable to consistently tell how far devices have been from each other and for how long.

It means people are unlikely to be told to isolate for two weeks if it detects potential contact with an infected person.

This will change as the technology improves – hopefully in time for winter.

The previous app relied on NHS software and was only able to identify 75 per cent of nearby Androids and four per cent of iPhones.

The new version uses Apple and Google tech which is built into their devices and can detect 99 per cent of handsets.

A source said: “We are confident this version of the app will prove more reliable in trials and will soon be ready for national roll-out.” The app was initially billed as a vital part of NHS Track and Trace but is now seen as playing a merely supportive role.

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