£35 Million Test and Trace App Only Contacts Half of People Who Need to Self-Isolate

A recent survey suggested that more Brits are now willing to follow self-isolation rules after coming into contact with someone with Covid (90%) than in early March (84%). But how important are compliance rates if people don’t know they are required to isolate? The Test and Trace app – which has cost the taxpayer at least £35 million – is contacting fewer than half of its users who need to self-isolate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The Telegraph has the story.

The NHS Test and Trace app is contacting people who need to self-isolate in fewer than half of coronavirus cases, new data show.

A survey by the ONS found that in early April, only 48% of those who had downloaded the app and were required to self-isolate received a notification.

Of these, just 15% received the app notification at least a day before any other source, such as a phone call from a contact tracer.

The figures are the latest indication of the extremely limited impact the technology has played in reducing the spread of cases, despite costing at least £35 million.

They follow the delay of a software update earlier this month after a new check-in feature was found to violate Apple and Google’s privacy rules.

The ONS figures also found that nine out of 10 people required to self-isolate after being in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus said they fully adhered to the rules.

However, of the respondents who did not follow self-isolation requirements, 78% reported they left the house for non-permitted reasons during their 10-day isolation period, the ONS said.

Of those who left their homes, 27% said they had gone to the shops, while 13% went out for outdoor recreation or exercise.

Worth reading in full.

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