LONDON (Reuters) – England’s COVID test and trace system is making a 500 pound ($665) support payment available for people who self-isolate after receiving a notification via its app, it said on Thursday.
The money was already available for people told to self-isolate by contact tracers via phone, email or test message, but not previously through the app due to its anonymous nature.
Any individual who receives a self-isolation alert in the app were now able to register their details to receive the payment, the service said.
Strong protection for user privacy was a key requirement set by Apple and Google when they made the technology available to develop COVID-19 contact tracing apps.
Individual users are not required to enter personal details when they register to use the app, meaning automatically generated notification requests to self-isolate cannot be enforced.
A user will remain anonymous after receiving a notification if they do not wish to claim the money, the service said.
The payment is designed to encourage people to stay at home when they test positive for COVID-19, to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Paul Sandle; Editing by Kate Holton)