Covid app changes mean fewer people will be 'pinged'

A message to self-isolate, with one day of required isolation remaining, is displayed on the NHS cor

A message to self-isolate, with one day of required isolation remaining, is displayed on the NHS coronavirus contact tracing app on a mobile phone, in London. Picture date: Thursday July 15, 2021. - Credit: PA

Changes are being made to the NHS Covid-19 app meaning fewer people in Norfolk and Suffolk will be 'pinged'.

The app advises users to self-isolate if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. 

A record number received notifications in the week up to July 21, in what has been labelled a 'pingdemic'. 

But the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced the system's "logic" is set to be tweaked. 

It means a person will need to have been near a positive but asymptomatic individual two days prior, instead of five.

Neither the app's sensitivity or risk threshold have been altered. 

With several industries complaining recently of staff shortages due to a growing number of pings, it is hoped pressure will now be alleviated. 

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Sajid Javid, health and social care secretary, said: "We want to reduce the disruption that self-isolation can cause for people and businesses, while ensuring we're protecting those most at risk from this virus.

"This update will help ensure that we are striking the right balance.

"It's so important that people isolate when asked to do so in order to stop the spread of the virus and protect their communities."

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