Carriers fighting COVID-19 pandemic by pushing “Stay Home” messages when Wi-Fi is off

If you’re seeing a “Stay Home” message in the iOS status bar where cellular network information is displayed as soon as you switch off Wi-Fi on your iPhone, you’re not alone — that’s one way carriers are reminding subscribers to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As first spotted by social media industry commentator Matt Navarra, mobile phone operators in Germany and elsewhere are pushing a “Stay Home” message when users switch off their device’s Wi-Fi and connect to their carrier’s cellular network.

The message also appears on the Lock screen and in the Mobile Data section of the Settings app, which in certain countries and regions may be labeled as “Cellular”.

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In other words, should your iPhone or LTE-enabled iPad disconnect from Wi-Fi and automatically  transition to cellular connectivity when you leave the house, you should see this message appear in the top-left corner of Control Center where cellular network info is shown.

The message appears on both iOS and Android devices.

MacRumors has spotted these messages in other countries, including Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Peru, Turkey, India, Luxembourg, Romania, Indonesia, Nigeria and more.

The message appears when Wi-Fi is toggled off in Control Center, causing cellular network connectivity information to appear, but it would also show up without turning off Wi-Fi when leaving an available Wi-Fi network and transitioning to cellular. No US networks appear to be showing the “Stay Home” wording this time.

This has nothing to do with Apple or iOS.

No software update is required to enable this feature because the GSM standard permits wireless operators to set the network name remotely, i.e. to show roaming status, change the network name when operators rebrand and so forth.

Are you seeing a “Stay Home” message in the iOS status bar when Wi-Fi is off?

Let us know in the comments down below.