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Bank Holiday visitors travelling with Wightlink support the Island’s new NHS Test and Trace App

(28 August 2020) Holidaymakers heading to the Isle of Wight and Islanders crossing the Solent with Wightlink this weekend are enthusiastically welcoming the latest trial of the new NHS Test and Trace smartphone app.

App Ambassadors are on board the Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferries Victoria of Wight and St Clare and at Portsmouth Harbour FastCat terminal from Thursday 27 August to Bank Holiday Monday. They have been talking to travellers about its contract tracing technology and encouraging them to download it.

Visitors and residents alike can use the NHS QR ‘check-in’ feature at Island venues, such as pubs, restaurants and attractions, which are displaying the NHS QR poster.

Onboard Ambassador John Hirst says the first day was very successful: “Almost everyone we have spoken to so far has been very receptive and keen to get involved.

“The App is an important tool in the fight against coronavirus and part of the Government’s wider campaign to combat Covid-19. This trial will help us understand how people are interacting with the App, ahead of its national roll-out.”

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield, says: “We are pleased to support the NHS Test and Trace App by welcoming the ambassadors over the Bank Holiday and we encourage everyone to find out more about it.

“It is important that visitors take part in the Island initiative to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by improving contact tracing.”

Isle of Wight Council Leader, Dave Stewart, says: “I am pleased to support the re-introduction of the App and the widening of its availability to visitors to our Island.

“I have downloaded it myself and I would encourage everyone that can to do so as well. The Island has led on the development of the App and can now support Government as it moves towards a national Track and Trace system.”

App Ambassadors are also working with Red Funnel and Hovertravel to spread the word about the initiative and have leaflets containing the unique codes needed to download the App. Visitors who use the App while on the Island can continue to use it when they return home.

Picture caption: App Ambassador Jennie Cotton at Wightlink’s FastCat terminal in Portsmouth Harbour