IRELAND’S COVID-TRACKER app has become one of the first wave of national apps linked with other countries across the European Union.
From today, the link with Germany’s Corona-warn-app and Italy’s Immuni app means that people with the Irish app will receive an alert if they are a close contact with people who are diagnosed with Covid-19 and have these apps installed on their phone.
Ireland and Northern Ireland were the first in the world to achieve such co-operation between apps in different jurisdictions earlier this year. This move today is part of wider efforts at EU level to co-operate on tackling the virus.
However, this development also comes at a time when Irish people are encouraged not to travel abroad except for essential air travel.
There are currently no countries on the government’s so-called green list – countries where people can travel back from without the need to restrict their movements upon return.
The EU’s new traffic light system for air travel was adopted in Brussels last week, with the government signalling its intention to adhere to the measures under this system.
To date, over 2.1 million registrations have been made to Ireland’s Covid Tracker app, and around 5,800 people have been sent close contact alerts as a result of carrying the app.
In a statement today, the Department of Health said this move to allowing the apps to work across jurisdictions will help to break the chain of Covid-19 infections across borders and save lives.
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Minister Stephen Donnelly said: “Today’s announcement is another important tool in the effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
“While the general advice in Ireland is currently against non-essential travel overseas, this system will be of benefit for those undertaking essential travel to and from Ireland. I am again asking everyone across the country to download the app. The more people that download the app the more effective the app will be.”