Monday, 21 Sep 2020

Scotland to get dedicated Covid-19 tracing app

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a new “proximity tracing app” to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Ms Sturgeon described Protect Scotland as a “significant enhancement” to the existing test and protect system

And she vowed that important assurances about privacy and confidentiality would be given when it launches later this month.

She added: “I encourage everyone to download and use the app as soon as it becomes available.”

The announcement comes as the number of confirmed cases increased by 154, including 66 in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

‘Additional means’

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs: “The app will provide an additional means of notifying and giving advice if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, even if you don’t know that person and they don’t know you.”

Contact-tracing apps are designed to help prevent a second wave of the coronavirus.

They work by logging when two people have been in close proximity to each other for a substantial period of time.

If one of the users is later diagnosed as having the disease, an alert can be sent to others they have recently been close to, telling them that they should also get tested and/or self-isolate.

In July the Scottish government confirmed the app was in development and will focus on using Bluetooth technology to anonymously alert users if they have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for Covid-19.

If an individual tests positive for the virus they will be sent a unique code to their mobile.

If they give permission, the data will then be sent to a server so close contacts also using the app can be traced.

The app will use the same software as the Republic of Ireland app, which has been adapted for use in Northern Ireland.

In June, the UK government ditched its coronavirus-tracing app and shifted to a model based on technology provided by Apple and Google.

  • IMPACT: How is the pandemic affecting life in Scotland?
  • CASES: Where are the latest cases in Scotland?
  • QUIZ: How well do you know the Covid restrictions?
  • BACK TO SCHOOL: Can a school insist on a Covid test?
  • LOCKDOWN EASING: What changes next – and when?
  • Contact tracing
  • Coronavirus pandemic
  • Coronavirus testing

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