A new NHS contact-tracing app designed to combat the spread of Covid-19 should be up and running by the end of June, according to business minister Nadhim Zahawi.

The new smartphone app for Android and iOS had been expected to roll out last month, but the launch was pushed back after it was decided that more trials were needed.

The app, which is not linked to the API that Apple and Google have been working on, detects and records the movement of users in close proximity and then sends alerts if a person has come into contact with someone with coronavirus symptoms.

Trials for the ‘centralised’ app started in the Isle of Wight in early May.

Mr Zahawi said he expects the app to launch before the end of the month but did not divulge a specific date as he believed it “would be wrong” to do so.

He added: “The app, we are working flat out. We want to make sure it actually does everything it needs to do and will be in place this month.”

The new app is part of a wider test and trace system that launched in England and Scotland last week and will feature 25,000 people who have been recruited to act as track and tracers.

An NHS boss told the Guardian that the scheme could have some teething issues to begin with but would be “world-class” by September.

The system is believed to be crucial in the fight to prevent a second wave of infections later this year.