THE risk level for Covid-19 for Basingstoke on the new NHS tracing app is showing as 'medium' for some and 'low' for others.

People from the town have posted on social media showing the varying risk levels displayed for the area when downloading the app, raising questions over its effectiveness.

One couple said they had different risk levels despite sitting next to each other at the time and entering the same postcode of RG24, which covers some parts of Basingstoke. 

Basingstoke Gazette:

Basingstoke Gazette:

However, when deleting then downloading the app again, the risk level changed to medium for both. 

When a Gazette reporter living in Basingstoke downloaded the app it showed a 'medium' risk level for the town, stating: "RG21 area risk level is medium" which means "your local authority or a neighbouring local authority, has high or rising levels of infection. Please follow national guidance".

The latest figures for Basingstoke and Deane show there were nine new coronavirus cases recorded last week, up to September 18, and the rate of infection decreased.

For the seven days up until September 18, 5.1 out of every 100,000 people in the borough were being diagnosed with coronavirus, down from 5.7 the previous week.

When you first register for the app, you are asked for the first half of your postcode, so you can be notified you when your area’s risk level changes.

In England, risk level is based on the Local Authority watch list. This is determined each week by the secretary of state for health and social care. It draws on advice from the chief medical officer for England, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England.

Information from the app states: "If your area is at medium risk then your local authority, or a neighbouring local authority, has higher levels of infection than other parts of the country.

"A local area plan has been created with targeted actions in place to reduce transmission of infection. For example, this may be additional testing in care homes and increased community engagement with high-risk groups. Some medium risk areas may be receiving additional national support, such as mobile testing capacity."

Public Health England told the Gazette that "most local authorities in England are now classified as medium risk because either they or their neighbouring local authority has high or rising levels of infection".

However, it offered no explanation as to why some people were seeing different risk levels in the same postcode area. According to information linked to from the app, there is no 'low' risk category for England. 

The app, which launched after months of delay, is designed to help "make the country a safer place", according to health secretary Matt Hancock.

Across the country, some people have complained about being unable to download and install the app.

It is unable to run it on all devices - one in five iPhones and eight per cent of Android smartphones are too old to install the software.

Older devices running a version of iOS earlier than 13.5, or Android earlier than six, lack the crucial updates developed by Apple and Google to allow phones to detect each other, which is a key part of how the devices track who users have been in contact with.

For more information about the app visit