The NHS contact tracing app will be updated to take new social distancing rules into account later this month, according to the BBC.

COVID-19 restrictions are set to be scrapped on 19th July, but the official contact tracing app is still viewed as a “very important” tool in combating the spread of the virus amid a third wave this summer.

From next week, social distancing rules will no longer apply even though the app is still designed to detect users who are up to two metres away for a period of 15 minutes or more.

The system currently sends alerts to those who have come into close contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus.

However, with cases soaring, there are fears that a significant rise in alerts could cripple the economy with potentially millions of people being asked to self-isolate.

Research by the BBC found that 4.5 million people could be asked to self-isolate by the middle of August compared to the 16,000 alerts sent in late May.

Earlier, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps had said that tweaking how the app functions could reduce its sensitivity regarding distancing.

Sources close to the developers who created the app have now said that they have been told to adjust the measurements which trigger isolation alerts.

There is also a change coming in August that will enable fully vaccinated people to switch off the countdown timer following an alert.