People across England and Wales are being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.

To show their support, well-known faces, including actor Ameet Chana, dance sensation Madhu Singh, magician and content creator Arshdeep Soni, have come together in a new film with healthcare professionals and community influencers, to encourage the South Asian community to download the new NHS COVID-19 App.

Community voices outline the reasons why they’ve downloaded the app – whether it is to protect loved ones, to know what to do if you develop symptoms or to know if you live in a high-risk area. This support echoes a national drive which aims to raise awareness that downloading the app will help control the spread of the virus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.

It will be available to those aged 16 and over in multiple languages. It forms a central part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England and the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme – identifying contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.

The contact tracing element of the app works by using low-energy Bluetooth to log the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for COVID-19 – even if you don’t know each other.

The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case. It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a free test if needed and get your test results.

The app does not hold personal information such as your name, address or date of birth, and only requires the first half of your postcode to ensure local outbreaks can be managed. No personal data is shared with the government or the NHS.