Support Alert

NHS COVID-19 and Protect Scotland contact tracing apps

A new NHS COVID-19 app has been launched today and is available to download for free in England and Wales. The app has several tools, including contact tracing notifications, local area alerts and venue check-in. 

Further details about the app around data and privacy, and the latest NHS and government guidance can be found on the NHS COVID-19 app support page


There is already a COVID-19 contact tracing app available in Scotland called Protect Scotland, which has already been downloaded over 1million times. This is a free mobile phone app which can alert a user who has been in contact with another app user that tests positive for coronavirus. Further details on the app can be found on the NHS Scotland website 

Both apps are designed to help protect users and others to help to reduce the spread of coronavirus. We encourage their use by pharmacy teams and the wider public. 

If pharmacy teams are using the apps, do remember to temporarily pause contact tracing to avoid misleading notifications whilst working when protected by PPE and practising infection control. Additional guidance on how and when a user should pause contact tracing is also available for England and Wales and Scotland.

NHS England has also produced advice on which venues in England should display the official NHS QR code poster for the venue check-in function. This includes advice for hospitals, community pharmacies and GP surgeries.

  • Hospitals are encouraged to have QR code posters for waiting rooms and areas where people may congregate in proximity for extended periods of time.
  • People in community pharmacies generally move around the space rather than congregate, and are expected, by law, to wear face coverings. QR codes are therefore not required but can be used if a community pharmacy wishes to offer this option.
  • GP surgeries with an appointment system and a clear way to identify and contact who has been on the premises and when are unlikely to need to use a QR code poster. GP surgeries may consider using QR code posters for waiting rooms if they wish.

Further details on use of official NHS QR code poster can be found on the NHS COVID-19 app support page  



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