Life after lockdown will see us make important lifestyle changes if we're to follow the Government's latest coronavirus message which is to keep our distance, wash our hands and think of others.
Luckily, technology is on our side during the pandemic. There are new and existing mobile apps ready to support us stay safe outside as lockdown restrictions ease.
Here is a growing list of the best free apps available for download or to be used online to help control the spread of the virus and keep our families as safe as possible.
The new Supermarket Check-In app has been in the news a lot recently. Using crowd-sourced data from users, shoppers can find out how busy local supermarkets are, how long the queues are, and even stock levels to avoid a wasted journey. Web developer Paul Hulatt created Supermarket Check-in while on furlough. Speaking to media, he said: "This kind of socially-generated content is a really great way of communities coming together and helping each other get through this crisis." Download from the App Store or Google Play.
Out Of Milk
By shopping for each other, people have been able to reduce their shopping trips to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Who says this has to end?! Continue to help keep your relatives safe and your shopping trips efficient with the Out of Milk app. This intuitive and digital shopping list lets you scan food items in and save them to your history. If your relatives download the app too, you can share shopping lists so when one of you does pop to the supermarket, you'll be armed with a precise shopping list for your vulnerable friends or family members. Available on the App Store or Google Play.
Flush Toilet Finder
Experts say regularly washing our hands is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of Covid-19. Although we're unsure when public loos will reopen, once they do, it will be helpful to know where they're located so everyone can wash their hands often when away from home. Flush Toilet Finder has more than 190,000 bathrooms in its global database that you can search even without an internet connection. People can add a toilet if you find one that isn't logged, and you can even rate a toilet so if it's not clean, say so. The Flush app should also tell you which toilets have disabled access, a fee for usage or needs a radar key. Download from the App Store.
Find out how busy essential locations are before you visit with Crowdless – an app created in just three days by students and alumni of the London School of Economics. Crowdless gives users real-time updates on how busy places are so you can make an informed choice about what time to visit the supermarket or whether to go elsewhere. Crowdless will play a big part in helping us adhere to social distancing rules and avoid crowds of people. Download via the App Store or Google Play.
Ordoo is an app for busy people to save time collecting their coffee and lunch. You can order and pay for food in advance, either to eat-in or takeaway, at various cafes and coffee shops. Contactless payments and being able to beat the queues will be crucial for customers to maintain social distancing. What's also good about Ordoo is you're rewarded for using the app, you can tell the venue what time to expect you, and it means we can continue to support independent businesses which have had to close for several months. Available on the App Store or Google Play.
Toilet Map is similar to Flush but is a website rather than a mobile app. However, where there's a toilet there's a sink to wash our hands. Businesses happy to have non-customers use their toilets can sign up to Toilet Map and the public can add new locations or flag up loos now closed to keep the database updated. Find out important information like whether the toilets are accessible, if you need a radar key and if there are baby changing facilities.
Technology companies have raced to create solutions for businesses to open so we can safely navigate life post-lockdown. Major UK attractions have signed up with Attractions.io so they can offer customers a digital experience, which reduces unnecessary face-to-face contact. Some of Attractions.io's features are in-app food orders and digital tickets so no queuing, see wait times at individual attractions, and maps so you know exactly where to go. This will be quite handy if one-way systems become part of the norm. Another similar app is Crowd Solo, created by UK company Holovis. Visit the Attractions.io website to check what businesses are signed up.
Auntie to four nieces and nephews, living in Birmingham. It's very easy to become a passerby in the town or city you live in, Vicky says, so instead, she makes an effort to be a tourist wherever she’s calling “home” that year. A 'yes' person and used to relocating, Vicky will try most new experiences at least once and is known to always be WhatsApping events to her friends. With so many of those friends being mums – Vicky Googles child-friendly activities far more than nights out on the town.