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Protect Scotland app

The Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is a free, mobile phone app designed to help us protect each other and further reduce the spread of coronavirus. The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus. And if you test positive, it can help identify people who you have been in close contact with that you may have otherwise missed while keeping your information private and anonymous.

Why should I use the Protect Scotland app?

Using the Protect Scotland app, along with sticking to current public health measures, will help us to stay safe when we meet up, work or travel.

It's important that we all download and use the Protect Scotland app to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

You can find out more and download the app at the Protect Scotland website.

Who should download the app?

All adults and children who are old enough to go to secondary school should download the app, in order to help slow the spread of the virus, and for making sure the virus stays at low, manageable levels.

Do I have to download it?

No – the use of the app is entirely voluntary, and if you do download it you can delete it at any time. 

When should I use the app?

After you’ve downloaded the app, you don’t have to do anything expect keep Bluetooth on (and location if you are an Android user – though the app doesn’t track your location) The app has been designed to be installed and forgotten about – it will just work in the background. You will only have to open the app again if you test positive for COVID-19 and are provided with a code to enter into the app, or if the app alerts you that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, when it will advise you what to do next.

How does the app use my personal information?

No-one can see your personal data. The app doesn’t store this data anywhere and is not made visible by the app to anyone, not even NHS Scotland. You can find out more about how the app works and how it uses your data here.

Will it use up my phone’s data allowance?

The app communicates with other phones using only Bluetooth. However, in order for the app to communicate with NHS Scotland’s servers, a very small amount of data is transferred every day. For more information, see the Protect Scotland app website.  

Is it safe for my child to use the app?

Yes. If your child is old enough to go to secondary school, it’s a good idea for them to download the app so they can be notified if any of their close contacts (such as school friends or teachers) test positive for COVID-19. This will help prevent the virus from spreading further. No-one will see their personal data, not even NHS Scotland. So no-one will be able to find out your child’s identity or where they are because they’re using the app. 

Before they download it, have a chat with them about how it works. Discuss how they must let you know if they’re notified that they need to isolate, and mustn’t ignore notifications from the app. If they’re in school when they receive the notification, they should let their teacher know.

You can find out more about how children can use the app here.

What if my child’s school doesn’t allow mobiles?

Your child should continue to stick to their school’s rules about use of mobiles. If they're not allowed to use their phone at school, they can still use the app outside of school.

What if I don’t want my child to use the app?

The app is completely voluntary, so your child doesn’t have to download the app if you don’t want them to.

What happens if my child is told to isolate via the app?

If your child is told to isolate via the app they should let you know and should then follow the isolation guidance. In some instances, the advice given by the app can be overridden by a public health led assessment in your child’s school. If this is the case, you’ll be notified about what you need to do.