A recent poll conducted by Savanta ComRes, a market research firm, has revealed that around 20% of British adults have removed the NHS COVID app from their phones or are planning to do so before 19 July.
The NHS application has been sending out notifications to numerous people advising them to self-isolate upon potential contact with a COVID-positive person, and experts believe that the number of alerts they will be sending out will only amplify after Freedom Day. To avoid this so called 'pingdemic' people have resorted to deleting the app altogether to avoid self-isolation.
Earlier this week, dozens of trains across Britain were cancelled because an alarming number of staff were informed to quarantine by the application. Great Western Railway said:
A shortage of train crew means that an amended Great Western Railway service will be in operation today, Monday 12 July, due to a significant number of staff having to self-isolate following notification from Test and Trace.
The Guardian reported that politicians were already worried that people will choose to delete the app to avoid self-isolation and this poll has only amplified the concern.
Deleting the NHS app
Savanta ComRes questioned 2,137 adults over the age of 18—that represented different age groups, sexes, regions, and socioeconomic groups—from 9 to 11 July.
Their findings showed that more than athird of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 have already deleted the app, while a third more have the intention to do the same in the coming days. Professor Henry Potts from University College London, a specialist in the use of technology in healthcare and an advisor in the government, said:
We know both that the number of people downloading the NHS Covid-19 app was never as high as desired and that some people who downloaded it have already deleted it.
What will happen is that the more they see Covid as less of an issue, then the more likely they will be to stop using the app.