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Police told not to download Covid-19 app on work phones as downloads top 12m

Jamie Harris, PA Science Technology Reporter
·1-min read

Police officers are being told not to download the coronavirus contact tracing app on to work phones, as the app topped 12 million downloads on Monday.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) issued the guidance to forces across the country following the NHS Covid-19 app’s launch last Thursday for England and Wales.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own contact tracing apps.

A spokesman denied suggestions that the move was a result of “security implications”.

“Police forces use a variety of mobile devices with different system restrictions,” the NPCC said.

“It is important that we have confidence that the NHS app will work for officers and staff consistently across the country, and it is for this reason that we have recommended that officers and staff download the app to their personal as opposed to work devices, rather than any suggestion of security implications.”

It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed what he called “the fastest download of an app in British history” having reached 12.4 million downloads by midday on Monday.

HEALTH Coronavirus App
(PA Graphics)

“I would urge everybody, including every single member in this House, to join the 12.4 million,” Mr Hancock said.

The app uses Bluetooth technology to keep a tab of close proximity encounters with other people and informing them if one later tests positive for the virus.

The app is in the number one spot in both iOS and Android app stores.