NHS Scotland have launched a new test and protect mobile phone app, "designed to help us protect each other, reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdowns". 

The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus and can help in determining contacts that you may have otherwise missed.

It will do the same for others if you test positive while keeping your information private and anonymous.

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

"As we see the rate of infection start to rise, it is important that we all download and use the Protect Scotland app to help stop the spread of coronavirus."

But how does the app actually work?

Here, we've pulled together everything you need to know. 


Why should I use the app?

NHS Scotland says: "The app will help us break the chains of infection, speeding up the process of identifying people at risk of catching coronavirus and reducing its ability to spread."

When should you use the app?

1. You will be alerted if you have been in close contact with another app user who has tested positive for coronavirus.

2. You can anonymously warn other app users whom you have been in close contact with, if you test positive for the virus.

This is in addition to existing contact tracing efforts done by the Scottish Government.

How does the app work?

  • Once you have installed and set up Protect Scotland, it will run in the background of your device. You can use your phone and other apps as normal.


  • Using Bluetooth, the app will exchange anonymous, encrypted, random codes with other mobile phones with the Protect Scotland app installed. You do not need to have a WiFi connection and the app uses a very small amount of your mobile phone data, but you do need to keep Bluetooth switched on.


  • When the app finds another user, it will record the contact, the distance between your phones and the length of time your phone was near theirs. This is all done anonymously.


  • If you test positive for coronavirus, you can choose to input the Test Code, provided by the contact tracer, into the app. This will automatically notify other app users that you have been in close contact with (within 2 metres for at least 15 minutes).


  • When another app user tests positive, and has inputted a Test Code, the app will notify you and any others if it determines you may be at risk.


  • You may or may not still be contacted by a contact tracer. This depends on whether you have been identified to be at risk through traditional contact tracing methods.

How to download the app?

The app can be found on the app store here, and on Google Play here.