Apple Adds British Government Coronavirus PSA to UK App Store

Thursday March 26, 2020 3:10 AM PDT by Tim Hardwick

U.K. iPhone and iPad users who open the App Store this morning are being met with a COVID-19 public service announcement from the British government, signaling an expansion of Apple's efforts to prominently display official coronavirus alerts on its devices.


Tapping on the prioritized card takes users to an NHS app link and a video containing coronavirus protection guidance from the UK government's chief medical officer, professor Chris Whitty:

To help save lives, stay at home. Anyone can spread coronavirus. You should now only go out when absolutely necessary, for food, medicine, work, or exercise. Always try to stay two meters apart. Do not meet others outside your household – even friends and family.

Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.

The ‌App Store‌ is an unfamiliar home for a PSA – Apple News would be the normal location for this kind of content – but Apple is obviously trying to get out the official guidance to as many users as possible, including anyone browsing for new apps and updates on their devices.

In the U.S., Apple began displaying White House public service announcements at the top of the ‌App Store‌ on March 21, offering official guidance on the "dos and don'ts" of social distancing. Users in other countries are also likely to see similar advice from their national governments.

This is just the latest of several other measures that Apple is taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apple said earlier this month that it is critically evaluating coronavirus-related apps submitted to the ‌App Store‌ to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions.

Top Rated Comments

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6 days ago at 04:14 am


If you go outside for essentials only, wear a mask. Protect yourself and others. Best be safe than sorry.

Here in the US there is an acute shortage of N95 masks in hospitals. People walking around outside need to maintain proper social distancing (6 feet) and not hoard PPE that our medical people desperately need.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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6 days ago at 03:15 am
Given how some people over here seem to have ‘carried on’ regardless I guess it’s another way of saying: listen, it’s for your own good!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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6 days ago at 05:36 am
British government have been amazing so far. Daily press conference with different experts giving clear and concise updates and advice. Very happy with how they are handling an extremely difficult and worrying situation.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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6 days ago at 05:56 am


You jest? British government have been amazing so far. Daily press conference with different experts giving clear and concise updates and advice. Very happy with how they are handling an extremely difficult and worrying situation.

I think the problem is that many people seem to take the view that the Government's inability to say "here you go, all solved for you" is gross incompetence, an attitude unfortunately stoked by elements of the media with nothing else to report on and many people's tendency to rely on Facebook as their primary source of news and information.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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6 days ago at 04:03 am


No actual link to the app?

Given that the article is actually about where that link can be found, I'm not sure that's really a massive problem.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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6 days ago at 08:32 am


British government have been amazing so far. Daily press conference with different experts giving clear and concise updates and advice. Very happy with how they are handling an extremely difficult and worrying situation.

You are kidding right ?

We’ve been hearing that it’s not a big deal for over 3 weeks. The crazy Italians are overreacting they said, then that they want at least 60% of the population to get it to become immune ( despite the fact a 2-3% mortality rate amongst 60% of a 60 million population would mean hundreds of thousands of death and absolutely no scientific backing of that idea - in Japan people cought the virus again after recovering ), then that economy is more important than the lives of people... we only mandated lockdown when cases started to skyrocket... schools didn’t close until a few days ago, we’ve been hearing constant mixed messages and despite massive shortages the government is refusing to join Europe wide purchasing scheme essentially putting us at the back of the queue despite being invited to participate even though we left the EU and deciding not to join out of pure spite... essentially denying the public and NHS workers life saving equipment.

And do i need to mention the lies about 350m for NHS that are nowhere to be found ? Or maybe claims by the government how Nurses are “low skilled” and not needed - while they are now begging the public to volunteer, including European nationals they spat on for years ?

Or should i mention British nationals stuck abroad with absolutely zero assistance from the government to even get them home while they are busy deporting innocent people because clearly that’s more important...

How about general panic and empty shelves which prove that people don’t trust the government ? How about racist attacks on Asian population that the government hasn’t even addressed etc...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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