Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has today welcomed EU-wide co-operation to link national COVID-19 apps. This initiative will help to break the chain of coronavirus infections across borders and save lives.
Ireland’s COVID Tracker App is one of the first wave of national apps linked through this European interoperability gateway. This will mean 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 who have installed an approved EU member state app on their phone.
This EU-wide system was developed by the European Commission, following a request from EU member states. After a successful pilot phase, the system goes live today with the first national apps now linked through this service: Ireland’s COVID tracker, Germany’s Corona-Warn-App and Italy’s Immuni app.
Minister Donnelly said: “I am so proud of what Ireland has achieved, being one of the first countries to interlink apps at an EU level with Germany and Italy.”
“Ireland has consistently been a leader in the development of contact tracing apps and had one of the world’s most successful contact tracing app launches, with a huge uptake in the first 24 hours. Currently the app has more than 1.3 million active users. The Irish app already works on an all-island basis and today’s launch of the European Federated Gateway Service will facilitate apps working on a pan-European basis.”
The Minister continued: “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.”
The app has had 2.1 million registrations since its launch, and has an active user base of 1.31 million. This represents 34 per cent of the adult population (aged 16+) in Ireland.