THE Isle of Wight's MP has called the coronavirus app 'important' after comments from a health minister in the House of Lords.

In response to a question from The Green Party's Baroness Moulsecoomb, Lord Bethell said tracing would likely come before the app, in a UK-wide roll out which the Prime Minister has promised will happen next month (June).

Baroness Moulsecoomb said: "My colleague on the Isle of Wight, Vix Lowthion, tells me that the public there are not clear about the aims and objectives of the trial that they're taking part in. Can the Minister tell me now, what are the criteria for success of the Isle of Wight trial?"

Health minister Lord Bethell said: "One of the criteria for success is to learn from the pilot, which takes an early version of the app and hopes to develop learnings from it. There are two or three learnings. One of them is that it is probably a mistake to launch an app before you have got the public used to the idea of tracing. When it comes to launching the test and tracing programme, we will begin with the tracing, not with the app." 

Bob Seely said: "The app remains an important part of the trace and test programme which the UK is putting in place. It is not, and never has been, a stand-alone project, but is part of the wider three-pronged approach. There will be upgrades to it. Nothing specifically has changed. I would ask Islanders to download (or continue with) the app. It helps to keep us safe, to reduce the Covid-19 infections on the Island and assist the rest of the country."

Read more: Bob Seely applauds success of Isle of Wight coronavirus app as national rollout begins

Prime Minister Boris Johson told the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday) that the UK's Test, Track and Trace programme will be 'world beating' and insisted it would be ready to roll out on 1 June.

Earlier this week, the Isle of Wight County Press asked for clarity on the number of Islanders using the app - with anything from 52,000 to 73,000 downloads quoted.

Read more: Confused over NHS app download stats? We certainly are!

Last night (Wednesday), Mr Seely said 'more than 53,000 Islanders' are currently using it. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Earlier this week, the Bishop of Portsmouth asked Lord Bethell how Islanders would be recognised for their support of the coronavirus app.

Read more: WATCH Bishop asks Lord to recognise Isle of Wight's coronavirus test and trace app effort