NHS COVID19 exposure notification app suffering from ‘blue screen glitch,’ here’s a workaround

A new report from the BBC today says that many iPhone users are reporting issues with the United Kingdom National Health Service’s COVID-19 contact tracing application. The app, which uses the Apple and Google Exposure Notification API, is said to be suffering from a “blue screen glitch.”

Users report that the NHS COVID-19 app will get stuck on displaying a blue loading screen with a logo when it’s opened. Force quitting the app is said to accomplish nothing, leaving many users at a loss when it comes to finding data on exposures and even reporting a positive case.

According to the report, Apple has said that the issue is not on its end because it has not seen the issue appear in apps used by other countries. In the meantime, the NHS has provided a cumbersome but necessary workaround so users can access the app.

Here are the steps offered by the NHS to resolve the “blue screen glitch.”

  1. Close the NHS COVID-19 app
  2. On your device go to Settings
  3. Select General and then Reset
  4. Select Reset Location & Privacy
  5. Open the NHS COVID-19 app where you will need to accept phone permissions again

Doing this will reset location and privacy settings not just for the NHS COVID-19 application, but for every app on your iPhone. This makes it a frustrating process for users, especially if it’s something that has to be done more than once.

The app, however, is still scanning and monitoring for exposures, even if you see the blue screen:

In a statement, the Department of Health and Social Care said it was aware of the issue. “The app is still scanning, even if the screen appears blue,” it said. “There are simple steps iPhone users can take to resolve this issue, which are set out on the app’s website, and work is underway to identify the cause. Users experiencing this issue should make sure their Apple iOS is updated to the latest version of the software.”

Meanwhile, you can track the progress of COVID-19 contact tracing application rollouts in the United States in our full guide right here.

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