A new Covid-19 app – a vital part of the national test and trace programme – is due to be launched next week.

Residents are being encouraged to download the NHS Covid-19 App when it arrives – expected to be Thursday 24 September – while businesses and community venues should create Covid-19 App posters to display in their premises from the day the app launches. 

The posters feature a QR code which customers and visitors will be able to scan using the app to safely and securely 'check in' at the venue. Customers will receive an alert if they have recently visited a venue where they may have come into contact with coronavirus. For a guide on creating the QR poster for your businesses or community venue, please visit Covid-19 App information for businesses and community venues

The app also allows people to report symptoms and book a coronavirus test and features a handy countdown timer for people who have been asked to self isolate, so that they can keep track of when their self isolation period is due to end.

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.

"The more people who use the app, the better it will work – and it will help us get ahead of the virus, preventing further deaths, local lockdowns and disruption to the economy. 

"I would encourage everyone with a smartphone to download the app when it is available – and call on all businesses and community venues to take time over the next few days to prepare their posters so that visitors and customers can check in when they arrive on the premises."

She added: "The app will help us understand if the virus is spreading in a particular area, so that we can respond quickly to stop it spreading further and save lives.

"Importantly, it'll be able to do this while protecting the user's anonymity; it helps track the virus, not individuals, and nobody, including the council or the Government, will know who a particular user is.”

The NHS Covid-19 App is expected to be released next Thursday 24 September, 2020, and will be available to download from the App Store or Google Play for free. For more information, please visit Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. People with symptoms, no matter how mild, should immediately self isolate and book a test by visiting Coronavirus (COVID-19) or calling 119.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.

Latest data shows there were 47.32 cases per 100,000 residents in Wolverhampton in the seven days to 13 September, up from 41.58 cases in the seven days to 6 September.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind