The ‘logic’ behind how close contacts are identified and notified will change following a review in the NHS COVID-19[feminine[feminine app by the Secretary of Health, according to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.
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It will only return to contacts two days before an asymptomatic person is positive, as opposed to the five days of contacts the app previously tracked.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We want to reduce the disruption that self-isolation can cause to people and businesses, while ensuring that we protect those most at risk from this virus.
“This app update will help ensure that we find the right balance.
“It is so important that people isolate themselves when asked to do so in order to stop the spread of the virus and protect their communities. “
The government said the change would mean fewer people who were in contact with a person when they were unlikely to be at the peak of their infectivity will be told to self-isolate.
He added that the sensitivity of the application will not be affected, nor the risk threshold.
The same number of high-risk contacts will be called upon to isolate themselves, a government spokesman said.
Mr Javid ordered a review of the app as a growing number of people without symptoms who have never tested positive have been forced to self-isolate.
Described as “pingdemic”, business leaders criticized the app for forcing thousands of people out of work and crippling businesses.
Kate Nicholls, managing director of UK Hospitality, which represents the hospitality industry, said it was a “positive step forward”.
“But it needs to be put in place with immediate effect and does not eliminate the need for a release testing program to allow people to return to work safely,” she added.
The health ministry said the app “continues to play a crucial role in breaking chains of transmission, preventing hospitalizations and saving lives” and with around 40% of the eligible population continuing to use it. ‘use regularly, the use “remains high”.