Protect Scotland Covid-19 app now works in Northern Ireland and Jersey

28 October 2020, 15:52 | Updated: 28 October 2020, 15:57

The app will allow seamless connection in other UK territories
The app will allow seamless connection in other UK territories. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

Scotland’s coronavirus contact tracing app is now compatible with similar systems in Northern Ireland and Jersey – and should be able to link up with the app in England and Wales in the “coming weeks”.

Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman said the moves were an “important step” in helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

More than 1.5 million people have downloaded the Protect Scotland app to their smartphones, with more than 10,000 people contacted by the system to alert them as close contacts of infected people. 

Now the system will work in conjunction with the StopCOVID NI app as well the Jersey Covid-19 Alert version, meaning Scottish users will not need to download those apps if they travel there. 

Users are being urged to keep the Protect Scotland app active on their phone if they travel to either Northern Ireland or Jersey – allowing the different systems to connect to each other.

Meanwhile, an agreement has been reached over the NHS COVID-19 app used in England and Wales, while Beat Covid Gibraltar will join Scotland’s federated server in early November.

Health Secretary Ms Freeman said: "The Protect Scotland app is a vital tool in helping suppressing COVID-19 and I welcome that the app now works with the relevant contact tracing apps in Northern Ireland and Jersey. This is an important step in helping further reduce the spread of the virus.

"While people are being advised to travel less at the moment, this compatibility will allow those having to travel for essential reasons to continue to be alerted via the Protect Scotland app if they have been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case while in Northern Ireland or Jersey."

She added: "Agreement has been reached with England and Wales for the NHS Covid-19 app to become compatible in the coming weeks and we are working to ensure Protect Scotland is compatible with other European apps over time."