Health workers have warned that any failure in Britain's ability to track and trace people with the novel coronavirus and their contacts would result in a second deadly wave.
Britain is now testing the app, based on Bluetooth, on the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England where the government says more than half the residents had downloaded it. James Brokenshire, the junior interior minister in charge of security, said there were technical issues with the app but that traditional measures could be rolled out first.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a testing and tracing system considered essential for easing the current coronavirus lockdown will be up and running by June 1.
The Confederation has also welcomed the government's announcement that 25,000 contact tracers have been recruited to track 10,000 new cases of coronavirus a day from June 1.
Hancock, however, said the app was working alongside a conventional tracing system that uses phone and email to alert those who had been in contact with anybody who had tested positive for the virus.
James Brokenshire, the junior interior minister in charge of security, said on Thursday that there were technical issues with the app but that traditional measures could be rolled out first.
Britain abandoned track and trace in the middle of March as the number of cases soared.
Rival technology developed by Apple and Google was launched in several other countries on Wednesday.
When asked about a trial in Britain of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, the drug U.S. President Donald Trump says he takes, Brokenshire said that all drugs were tested carefully.
"The relaxation of restrictions based on scientific advice is the right approach but it must be accompanied by an effective test, track and trace strategy which enables us to monitor local spread of the disease", the confederation said.
Widespread contact tracing was abandoned in mid-March as the number of cases soared in the United Kingdom, but it is now seen as a crucial component of efforts to safely ease the lockdown while avoiding a second wave of Covid-19 infections.