The app for England and Wales created to help hospitality venues track and trace coronavirus has only sent one alert about an outbreak since its launch two weeks ago, a Sky News exclusive has revealed.
According to the report, the app, which has been downloaded 16 million times and used for millions of check-ins at venues around the country, has only sent out a total of four alerts to users about a risk of infection, three of which expired before the app was launched nationwide.
Department of Health officials said that the system was still in its infancy and was not expected to be used frequently.
However, with new lockdown measures expected to be introduced early next week and pubs and bars in the north bracing for another enforced closure, the new data puts further pressure on the government to provide clearer evidence on the impact of restrictions imposed on the hospitality sector.
Ministers have made it illegal for pubs, bars and restaurants in England not to display an official NHS QR code connected to the app, which allows people to check in to venues and then alerted if there is an outbreak.
Three days after the app’s launch on Thursday 24 September, the Department for Health and Social Care boasted that more than 480,000 businesses had downloaded QR code posters.
That Saturday, Test and Trace recorded more than 1.5 million venue check-ins in a single day.