Matt Hancock hails new NHS virus app to go into pilot TOMORROW and 'where Isle of Wight goes, Britain will follow'
The Health Secretary confirmed that the pilot of the NHS app to track people with the bug would go live tomorrow for healthcare workers.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
He told the nation at the No10 briefing tonight: "Islanders know that participating in this pilot, they are at the forefront of getting Britain back on its feet.
"Where the Isle of Wight goes, Britain follows."
80,000 households will get a letter from the island's chief nurse about information on how to install the app on their smartphones.
Bluetooth tech will let anyone know if they have been in contact with someone who had virus symptoms.
Anyone who starts to feel ill will let the NHS know via the app, and it will contact others they have seen.
Test ordering functions will be build in too.
The Health Secretary said the new app and tracing system would help "get the R rate down and keep the R rate down" and ensure widespread transmission stays low.
Mr Hancock said: "I have a simple message – please download the app, to protect the NHS and save lives.
"By downloading the app, you are protecting you own health, of your loves ones and the health of your community
"I know the people o the IOW will embrace this with enthusiasm because by embarking on this project and
"Embracing test track and trace – you will be savings lives"
He stressed that it was NOT the end of social distancing on the island, and that lockdown measures will only be changed once the five tests are met.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam said Britain was making good progress on two of the five tests today – testing and bringing the number of cases down to manageable levels.
The pioneering app must be downloaded by 50-60 per cent of the nation to be effective, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said yesterday.
People arriving into the UK at airports will be ordered to download the app before they are allowed into the country.
The app will be trialed on the Isle of Wight's 150,000 population this week before national roll-out in two to three weeks' time.
But there are concerns that the older people on the island may not have access to a smart phone, and are less likely to download the app.
John Newton, the UK's testing tsar, said today that they mustn't assume that the elderly could not help.
Many of them were "very tech saavy", he claimed, and said the island was an "ideal place" to test the app.