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COVID-19: Changes to NHS Test and Trace app mean everyone will now have to check in


Changes to the way we check in to venues and shops on the NHS Test and Trace app have been made ahead of the reopening of hospitality and retail from Monday.

The updates to the app have come into effect to coincide with the availability of rapid lateral flow tests for everyone in England from Friday.

The new regulations now state that everyone in a group must check in when they arrive at a venue, either by scanning an NHS QR code poster on the app or by providing your contact details.

Last year it was only required that the lead member of the group checked in.

If a user has a positive coronavirus test result, they will be required to share their venue history privately on the app.

This will mean a venue will be alerted faster and local outbreaks will be able to be contained more easily.

If a person has been at a venue on the same day as someone who has since tested positive, they may receive an alert telling them to book a PCR test, whether they are showing symptoms or not.

All venues in England will be given new QR posters to display, which the government says are clearer and easier to use.

Business owners are legally required to display these posters.

On Friday, a campaign will begin in England encouraging people to do twice-weekly rapid lateral flow tests.

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Previously, these tests had been offered to key workers and others seen as most at risk, but now the government wants them to become more widely used as normal parts of life start to resume.

The tests can be ordered to your home, carried out through a workplace testing programme or delivered through community testing.

People aged 18 or over will also be able to collect a box of seven tests from participating local pharmacies.

If testing at home, individuals will need to register their results online or by calling 119.

They should self-isolate if positive and order a confirmatory PCR test.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “As we continue to make good progress on our vaccine programme and with our roadmap to cautiously easing restrictions underway, regular rapid testing is even more important to make sure those efforts are not wasted.

“That’s why we’re now rolling out free rapid tests to everyone across England – helping us to stop outbreaks in their tracks, so we can get back to seeing the people we love and doing the things we enjoy.”

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