SCOTLAND is at an "advanced stage" in developing a Covid-19 proximity tracing app to be available by the autumn, the First Minister has said.

Nicola Sturgeon revealed she hopes to give more details about the software soon after a question from Gillian Martin MSP this afternoon.

The app is thought to be the same as the one already deployed across Ireland.

Sturgeon said: "I can say to the Chamber today that work is under way and at quite an advanced stage for us to have a proximity tracing app available in Scotland in the autumn using the same software as the Republic of Ireland app is using right now.

"I hope we will be able to confirm more details of that over the next couple of days and update the chamber in that way.

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"I think it's important to say that proximity tracing apps - and I've said this all along - may be a useful enhancement to Test and Protect but is not and never will be a substitute for the on the ground person-to-person approach to contact tracing."

She added: "We do want to see if we can get that enhancement in place.

"The Republic of Ireland app appears to have been very successful so far, which is why we are keen - as I believe Northern Ireland is also doing right now - to see if we can utilise that.

"Of course we will continue to have discussions with the UK Government as well about the development of their own technology."

The Irish government revealed back in May its plans to to develop an app for contact tracing and symptom tracking.

COVID Tracker was then revealed this month as a free app for mobile phones.

Its primary purpose is to enable health services to improve the speed and effectiveness of contact tracing, as well as to map and predict the spread of Covid-19.

The app alerts people if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and gives advice on protection.