A Nottingham MP has criticised the Government’s ‘Test and Trace’ app for giving off “confusing guidance” on the first day of new ‘high alert’ restrictions in the county.
Alex Norris, Labour MP for Nottingham North and a shadow health minister, says the Government’s communication has been “unclear” on new measures and that it has “hurt our efforts” to contain the virus.
It comes as many residents across the county have experienced problems with the NHS Test and Trace app on Wednesday (October 14).
Some people have seen their app update to show the Covid-19 alert level as ‘high’, while other people’s apps have remained at ‘medium alert’.
Nottinghamshire Live has also seen examples of people within the same household experiencing different alert levels on their apps.
Reporters in our newsroom have experienced similar problems on the first day of the restrictions, having to delete and then reinstall the app for the alert level to change.
Speaking on the technical issue, Mr Norris has called on the Government to “get a grip” as new rules come into force.
“Throughout this crisis unclear and confusing communications have hurt our efforts to beat this virus,” he told Nottinghamshire Live.
“It’s really frustrating that the app is giving off confusing guidance now as well – the Government need to get a grip.”
The app, used by residents to ‘check in’ to venues and to access Covid-19 guidance, is now beginning to register swathes of the county under the new risk level of ‘High’.
It comes after the Government placed Nottinghamshire into the Tier 2 level restrictions, which come into force from today, Wednesday, October 14.
Under the new rules, residents can no longer meet indoors with people from other households.
This includes in pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues, as well as inside your own home.
The app had previously registered most parts of Nottinghamshire as ‘medium risk’.
However, now the rules have come into force, people across the county are beginning to see the alert levels change.
The Test and Trace app shows the alert level is high in the NG5 area – including Arnold and Sherwood – and has also updated in parts of NG1, NG2, NG7, NG12, NG17, NG18 and NG21.
As part of the changes, users should receive a notification on their phone saying: “The risk level in your area has changed. Tap to see the details.”
Inside the app, it now provides you with a direct link to the new postcode checker tool, where you can find out more information about rules and guidance in your area.
If the app has not updated or you have not received an alert to the changes, Nottinghamshire Live understands it should be up to date if the app is deleted and reinstalled.
A spokesperson for the Department for Health and Social Care said: “The NHS Covid-19 app aligned overnight to the new Local Covid alert levels which came into place across England today (October 14).
“Users who have V3.7 of the app were notified from 8am that their alert level had changed, in line with the updated Covid alert levels.
“NHS Covid-19 app users only need to self-isolate if they get a notification directly from the app advising them to do so.
“Following an update to the app on October 13, users who receive a default exposure notification from Apple or Google but do not need to take any action will now be sent a follow-up message from the app making this clear.
“This follow-up message from the NHS Covid-19 app will read: ‘Covid-19 Exposure Check Complete. Don’t worry, we have assessed your risk and there is no need to take action at this time. Please continue to stay alert and follow the latest advice on social distancing’.”