Public Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

NHS COVID-19 App and Testing

Banner Isle of Wight lead the way NHS COVID-19 App


Island residents are among the first to be offered access to a new contact tracing app as part of the next phase of the government’s plan to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and pave the way to safely reducing current social distancing measures.

Everyone on the Island is encouraged to download the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app from a mobile telephone.

Purpose of the app

The contact tracing app automates the process of contact tracing the purpose of this is to reach the goal of reducing transmission of the virus by alerting people who may have been exposed so they can take action to protect themselves, the people they care about and the NHS.

Developed by NHSX, the app helps those who have reported symptoms to get a swab test and anonymously alert those people they have been in recent contact with to give them advice including on self-isolation.

Keeping your information secure

The privacy and security of users’ data is a priority and NHSX has involved experts from the National Cyber Security Centre to advise on best practice through the app’s development.

The app does not know who you are or who you’ve been with and the app can be deleted off your phone along with all data at any time.

Your data is encrypted and remains on your phone unless you report symptoms.

How the app works

Once someone installs the app, it will start logging the distance between their phone and other phones nearby that also have the app installed using Bluetooth Low Energy.

This anonymous log of how close people are to each other will be stored securely on their phone.

If a user becomes unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, they can choose to allow the app to inform the NHS which, subject to sophisticated risk analysis, will trigger an anonymous alert to those other app users with whom they came into significant contact over the previous few days.

This app runs alongside a contact tracing service that enables people to record recent contacts through a telephone interview and then alerts those contacts by email or telephone, either advising them to self-isolate or offering public health advice.

Together, the app and phone-based contact tracing and access to swab tests will provide an integrated, approach to detect and, where appropriate, quickly isolate people at risk of having the virus.

Questions and Answers

View the guidance provided by the NHS: NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app Questions and Answers (PDF, 612KB, 6 pages).

Local campaign toolkit

Our Local NHS COVID-19 app campaign toolkit can be used by anyone to actively and positively promote Island residents to download the NHS COVID-19 app.


COVID-19 testing

If you have downloaded and are using the NHS COVID-19 app, then please update your symptoms via the app if you start to experience a new and continuous cough or temperature. You will then be delivered a test to use and it will be collected from you.

Isle of Wight COVID-19 testing centre

If you are not using the NHS COVID-19 app, then the coronavirus satellite testing site at 1Leisure Medina in Newport is open for you or a member of your household to get tested.  

Residents are strongly advised to telephone: 03333 218865 before setting off to find out if they are eligible for testing, and to obtain an appointment.

On contacting the appointment booking line, you will be provided with advice about eligibility, what you need to bring (including employment identification) with you to the test as well as information about what to expect.

As announced by government last week, the eligibility criteria for tests has changed, and tests are now being offered to a wider group of people. For the latest guidance on eligibility, visit the GOV.UK website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) getting tested .

Testing is available between 9am and 2.30pm, Monday - Saturday and can be used by people in cars or on foot..

Staffed by the NHS, the satellite testing site forms part of a national network of facilities which aim to carry out thousands more swab tests to identify if people have the virus.

Postal service testing

If you do not have the NHS COVID-19 app and/or are unable to travel to 1Leisure Medina to have a test, the you can order a home testing kit on the government website: GOV.UK website: Essential workers apply for a coronavirus test 

We will continue to keep this page updated with the latest developments and support, to ensure that you have access to all the information available regarding the app and testing.