Police told not to download Covid-19 track and trace app despite visiting homes of isolating Brits under new crackdown

POLICE been told not to download the NHS Covid-19 track and trace app – despite officers visiting the homes of self-isolating Brits under a new coronavirus crackdown.

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

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Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own coronavirus contact tracing apps.

An NPCC 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."

There are around 120,000 police officers in the UK.

Meanwhile in Lancashire, some local cops have reportedly been told they may not need to self-isolate when they receive an alert.

Lancashire Constabulary told cops to call the police's Covid-19 helpline instead, the BBC reported.


Those ordered to quarantine under new coronavirus rules beginning from today will be checked up on by door-knocking cops.

Home Secretary Priti Patel warned that ministers "will not allow those who break the rules to reverse the hard-won progress made by the law-abiding majority".

Cops will "check compliance" with the new rules, and £10,000 fines will be given out to those who do not self-isolate or employers who force staff to return to work.

Police will investigate claims that people are flouting self-isolation rules, including tip-offs by neighbours.

Whitehall sources confirmed that police would be expected to investigate calls made to its 101 non-emergency number.

It is thought police resources will be targeted most in areas where infection rates are high or rapidly increasing.

Ms Patel said: "These new measures are about saving lives. Everyone must take personal responsibility and self-isolate if they test positive or if told to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

"For those who fail to do so, the police will enforce the law. These new fines are a clear sign that we will not allow those who break the rules to reverse the hard-won progress made by the law-abiding majority."

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson announced £10,000 fines for Brits who fail to isolate.

People can also be fined for flouting the recent 'Rule of Six' measures – or for breaking a mandatory rule on wearing face coverings in shops, which came into force on July 24.

All pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues across England must close at 10pm under curfew rules.


The app uses bluetooth technology to keep a record of which phones have spent 15 minutes within two metres of one another, and later alert people if they have been in proximity to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

The app allows people to use QR codes when they enter venues, boosting the country's contact-tracing efforts.

Pubs, restaurants, cinemas, hairdressers and other venues have been urged by the Department of Health to download the NHS Test and Trace QR Codes.

The use of QR codes will replaced the system where people had to manually fill in their contact details when they entered a venue.

App users will also be notified of the risk level in their local area based on the first half of their postcode.

The Department of Health said that trials which began last month found that the app is "highly effective when used alongside traditional contact tracing" to identify clusters of infection.

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.

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

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