Contact-tracing app could be ready this summer

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A CONTACT-tracing app that would automatically alert people if they had been in close contact with a positive case of Covid-19 could be up and running in Jersey before the end of the summer, if ministers agree.

Tony Moretta Picture: ROB CURRIE. (28805935)

Digital Jersey chief executive Tony Moretta said that a business case for the app – which would be run using Google and Apple technology – had been sent to ministers and was due to be considered by them within days.

The development comes as Ireland unveiled its new Covid-Tracker app this week, following on from the launch of similar apps in Germany and Gibraltar.

If ministers give the Jersey app the green light, within weeks Islanders – and those travelling into Jersey – could be asked to download an app which uses the Bluetooth signal on their mobile phone to track their interactions with others. If someone then tests positive for Covid-19, they could be sent a special code by the government to enter into the app, which would then automatically alert those phones that had been considered in ‘close contact’ with it for a certain amount of time.

A message could then be sent to users asking them to call the Contact Tracing Team, which would then inform them that they had been near someone with the virus before offering advice to them, including that they self-isolate for 14 days.

‘We have got a proposal in front of ministers,’ said Mr Moretta, who recently returned to Digital Jersey following a secondment leading Jersey’s test-and-trace programme.

He added that the app would be anonymous, so that those who were traced would not know who had tested positive, nor would the government have any information about who was moving where or when.

Passengers arriving into Jersey would also be advised to download the programme, and there is even the possibility that other similar apps used around the world would automatically link to the Jersey system, Mr Moretta added.

‘I think if we get the go ahead we will have it during the summer,’ he said.

Lucy Stephenson

By Lucy Stephenson

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