Coronavirus contact tracing app could be forced on all UK visitors

Britons are being told it is their moral duty to download a new coronavirus track-and-trace app — which may be forced on everyone entering the nation while coronavirus fears persist, according to reports.

The National Health Service app, which starts trials this week, tracks users’ movements — and alerts them if they have come into contact with someone later diagnosed with having coronavirus.

But it will only prove effective if at least half the country takes it up — with government officials telling citizens it is their moral duty to use it and help save the nation, The Sun says.

“The idea is we will encourage as many people to take this up as possible,” The UK’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, told Sky News on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a huge national effort.”

Britain's Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps
Britain’s Secretary of State for Transport Grant ShappsREUTERS

He said that people being “willing to come forward and be incredibly public-spirited” would help “defeating this as a nation.”

If effective, it could stretch even further — with plans to force travelers entering the UK to also download the app to control their movements, Shapps told the network.

The senior government minister insisted that the app was “completely confidential,” and people would not know the identity of the infected person they had been in contact with.

Still, he conceded there were “issues around privacy and security.”

“There are people for whom location services on their mobile devices are turned off for particular safety reasons and keeping themselves safe,” he noted, with some citizens also not having a smartphone.

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