Problems with coronavirus app test on Isle of Wight

The coronavirus app currently being tested on the Isle of Wight has got off to a shaky start, according to people on the island.

The app has been rolled out on the Isle of Wight over the past few weeks, ahead of an intended nationwide release. It is designed to boost our contact tracing capacity, by allowing people to see if they have been in contact with someone with coronavirus.


Indeed, you tell the app if you have tested positive for coronavirus, and it then contacts all the people who you’ve been in contact with, to advise them to self-isolate.

However, Computer Weekly has spoken to an IT expert on the island, who says this system isn’t exactly panning out the way the government intended.

Apparently the bluetooth system that detects your proximity to other people is a bit rogue. So if you’re sitting on one side of a wall in an attached house/flat, and your neighbour is on the other, the app logs that as a contact.

Therefore, the app has told lots of people they have been in contact with the virus, when actually they haven’t.

The purpose of a test is obviously to figure out these sort of problems. But the government will have to act quickly if it wants its big investment to pay off.