As Wolverhampton prepares to move out of Covid-19 lockdown and into Tier 3 restrictions, people are being urged to download and use the NHS Covid-19 app – to better protect themselves and others.

The app is free to download from the AppStore or Google Play and is compatible with the majority of Apple and Android smartphones.

Recent updates have made it more accurate and user friendly. It can now better estimate the distance between users to increase the accuracy of close contact notifications sent out by the app.

People can use the app to report symptoms, book a Covid-19 test and check into venues by scanning a QR code. It will also notify users if they have been in contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Every person who downloads the NHS Covid-19 app will be doing their bit in the fight against coronavirus. It’s already been downloaded around 20 million times and the more people who have it, the better it will work.

“As we come out of lockdown, and as more places open their doors once again, we are at a crucial point in the fight against Covid-19 – so the more we can do to keep the spread of the virus under control, the better. 

"Simply by installing the NHS Covid-19 app on your smartphone and taking it when you are out and about, you will be helping protect yourself, your family and your friends. This is because the app works alongside the NHS's wider Test and Trace programme to stop the spread of the virus – and the quicker we can do that, the sooner life will get back to normal.

"I would encourage everyone with a compatible smartphone to download the app and remind businesses and community venues – including those that are reopening this week – that they must display their QR code posters in a prominent location so that customers can check in when they arrive on the premises."

For more information about the NHS Covid-19 app, please visit NHS COVID-19 mobile app or Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Latest data shows there were 248.71 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 28 November. That means 654 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that 7 day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be considerably higher.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages. Details of the current Covid-19 restrictions, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at COVID Alert

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. To book a test, visit GOV.UK or call 119. People can get tested within 8 days of developing symptoms.