More than one million people in England and Wales have already downloaded the NHS COVID-19 app designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus, following its launch on Thursday.

The new app, which is built on tech from Apple and Google, offers a range of features, including a self-isolation alert service for anyone who has come into contact with someone who has the virus.

Visitors to pubs, restaurants, cinemas and places of worship are also advised to use the app’s check-in scan functionality to track movements and see whether any venues are outbreak ‘hotspots’.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged everyone over the age of 16 to download and install the app, which is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Hancock said that using the app would help people to protect themselves and loved ones at a critical time amid a second wave of the virus in the UK.

On Thursday, 6,634 new cases were recorded, which is the highest daily total ever.

The new app uses a decentralised and secure system to track the movements of users and send alerts.

The Department of Health said that anyone who gets a message telling them that they need to self-isolate for 14 days should stay at home or risk a fine of £1,000 or more.

The app includes a countdown clock, postcode-based threat updates, and links to further advice and information.

The government said that it wants people to use the app regularly and adjust their behaviour accordingly.