Hundreds fewer people were contacted by the NHS Covid-19 app in the latest week, following a change aimed at cutting isolation alerts.

NHS figures show 234 people in Maldon were “pinged” by the Covid app in the week to August 4 – the latest available data.

That was a decrease from the 423 alerts sent out the week before.

The app warns people that they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

People contacted through the app are advised to isolate for up to 10 days, although there is no legal obligation to do so.

From Monday those fully vaccinated will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

The app has been updated meaning fewer contacts are now being instructed to isolate, after the lifting of lockdown restrictions led to a huge increase in the number of people being contacted – a so-called “pingdemic”.

While isolation is not mandatory for people pinged by the Covid app in England, anyone who is contacted and told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service has a legal obligation to do so – although from August 16 this will only apply to those who have not had both jabs.