PEOPLE in Swindon have deleted their NHS Test and Trace app to avoid being told to self-isolate – despite warnings from health experts.

With many returning to the workplace while new cases soar, hundreds around Wiltshire have had to stay home after the app alerted them they had come into contact with someone who had Covid-19.

This left some places, like The Carpenters Arms pub in South Marston, too short-staffed to open. The pub had to close yesterday and will do so again today but plans to reopen at 10am tomorrow.

Being forced to stay off work hit some people hard in the pocket and led to them removing the app from their phones so they do not have to do it again.

The debate over the app has raged on the Adver's Facebook page.

Steven Culley said: “Deleted it ages ago. I was told to isolate so lost a week’s wages and then was told I wasn’t entitled to the financial help so decided to just delete it as I couldn’t afford to keep taking time off of work.

“Not worth keeping as loads of employers are asking you to turn it off whilst at work.”

Leanne White said: “It’s useful for protecting yourselves and the general public, but I had a positive PCR test and had to isolate for 10 days. My husband had to isolate even though he was negative.

“Both of us had 10 days off unpaid from work which has left us struggling financially and I am a not yet strong enough to return to my full capacity at work as a dog walker so the financial loss is still impacting us.

“We’re not entitled to any government support, so by doing the right thing we are massively out of pocket. If the app was to ping and we had to isolate again we’d be looking at another massive impact on our finances.”

Several Adver readers said they have not deleted the app – because they never downloaded it in the first place. 

Others made strong cases for keeping it installed.

Samantha Backway said: “As a nurse who has worked on a Covid ward I will be leaving my app on, especially as everyone will be dropping their guard and doing what they like. I need to protect my family and patients.

Emma Louise Long said: “I’ve still got the app and I’ve got my second jab on Thursday.”

Georgia Percival added: “I honestly don’t understand some people. Just because Boris has said that you don’t have to wear masks and restrictions are lifted, you think it’s all over? It’s not.

“The virus is still around. There are long term effects. People are still being hospitalised, still dying, still having to isolate.”

Ida Lilly said: “Freedom Day for many people, regardless of their age, fills them with dread and fear that they might catch coronavirus when they’re out of the house, or fear quite simply because we’ve all become used to our personal space and are quite comfortable with it.

“There are still so many vulnerable adults and children out there, some with long-term health conditions or disabilities. Double vaccinated or not, they are still clinically vulnerable.

“So with the rising R rate and increased hospital admissions, my app is staying active.”

Josh Moss said: “Freedom Day doesn’t mean the end of this pandemic.”

Irene Barnard said: “I’ve still got [the app], I don’t trust this government. I’ve just been shopping and wore a mask, I’m glad to say many others did too.”

Joanna Robinson said: “I have not [deleted it] and I will be wearing my mask too. It is still a pandemic, it is not gone!”