COVID-19 app warns users of contact with positive case

Health ministry launches contact tracing app allowing people to be notified when they’ve been in close proximity to a positive case

Health minister Chris Fearne shows off the new COVID-19 app
Health minister Chris Fearne shows off the new COVID-19 app
COVID-19 Exposure Notification Application

COVID-19 Exposure Notification Application

Posted by saħħa on Thursday, September 17, 2020

A COVID-19 Alert Malta App has been launched, allowing people to be notified when they've been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for the virus.

Developed by the Ministry for Health, MITA and the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, this app will allow those who have downloaded it to be notified electronically and anonymously if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

The app records proximity events to determine whether someone is at-risk of contracting the virus.

A proximity event is recorded when a person is in close distance with another app user. If one of the users is identified as a positive case of COVID-19, those who were within close proximity of the case will be alerted through the app.

During the press conference, Chris Fearne and Clayton Bartolo reassured the app is both privacy preserving and GDPR compliant.

“It makes no use of location services or GPS tracking, relying solely on Bluetooth to detect proximity effects,” they said.

Fearne emphasized that the app cannot replace traditional contact tracing.

"Just because you haven't received a notification it doesn’t mean you haven't come into contact with a positive case. You will be notified only if the person you met also has the app," he explained.

The app will be available in English and Maltese, and can be downloaded on iPhone and Android devices.

There will be no legal obligation for people to download the app.