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  3. 2020
  4. March
  5. Mobile networks enable data-free access to NHS websites

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Mobile networks enable data-free access to NHS websites

A move to help out during the Coronavirus situation.

The UK's biggest mobile phone networks including Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three have announced that their customers are able to visit NHS websites without using up any of their data allowance.

NHS websites are not known for using up large amounts of data. But with Coronavirus proving to be a huge concern for everyone, and the NHS being a source of official public health information, the NHS site will be especially useful as an online resource.

It’s also worth noting that people showing early symptoms are advised to avoid GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and should instead visit NHS 111 online or simply call 111. With health being the top priority, particularly at the moment, the networks are helping their customers access NHS websites without the worry of running out of data.

This way, all Vodafone, EE, Three and O2 customers can have access to the official health information, regardless of how much data you've got left. There’s no time limit set on this either, and the data-free access will go on for as long as the COVID-19 situation does.

O2 has gone a step further and enabled data free access to more than 20 additional websites that might be of help during the Coronavirus crisis. These include support and guidance resources such as Citizens Advice, Samaritans, Mind, Chidline, Age UK and more.

The network iD Mobile is also helping out its customers, with data free access to NHS websites. It is also giving customers to be deemed at-risk, namely those aged 70+, free unlimited minutes for 30 days.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "In the face of the continued spread of coronavirus, it is vital everybody can access the latest verified public health advice on the NHS website when they need to – so everyone knows exactly what they should be doing to keep themselves and others safe. We have been clear this must be a national effort and so I’m delighted that mobile companies will be offering free data to browse

"This will ensure everyone can access the guidance they need and avoid dangerous misinformation, without incurring data charges, and is an important contribution to the next stage of our plan to delay the spread of the virus."

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